Lexington Health Network

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5 things you must know before choosing an in-home care provider

Senior Woman In Discussion With Health Visitor At Home:

“Most people want to recuperate from an illness, injury or medical procedure at home. However, in-home recovery may be a challenge – especially as we age. The solution may be an in-home care provider.”

Here are some things to keep in mind as you consider whether to utilize a professional in-home care provider:

  • Is the provider licensed by the state?
  • How long has the provider been in business?
  • Is the provider certified by Medicare?
  • What type of employee screening is performed?
  • What are the provider’s credentials?
  • Does the provider have references?
  • How does the provider handle medical emergencies?
  • How does the provider protect patient information?

Resources to help you stay at home

You’ll need more than the assistance of an in-home provider for a successful recovery at home. For example, equipment such as grab bars in showers and ramps at the entrance to your home are major pluses. So are options for transportation, including buses and light rail, senior transportation services or taxis. To ensure that you’re properly fed, don’t be afraid to accept help from church members, family and friends.

Types of in-home providers

Help during in-home recovery comes in many forms:

  • Medical professionals, such as nurse and physical therapists
  • Home health aides, who are formally trained and tested on caregiving
  • Home care aides (also known as homemakers), who help with housework and personal care
  • Volunteers, unpaid assistants (whose caregiving abilities and availability may vary) often provided by churches and nonprofits
  • Family members, whose caregiving abilities and availability may vary
  • Professional agencies, which take care of screening and hiring workers, and find replacements if needed

How to find the right provider

Colleagues, family members, friends and neighbors are often the best source of referrals for in-home care providers. Gather the names of several prospects and compare their costs, payment terms and financial assistance terms, if provided. For professional providers, request each prospect’s credentials, such as licensing and other references. Steer clear of providers that can’t disclose these and other pertinent pieces of information, or provide incomplete or conflicting information.

Ways to pay for in-home care services

According to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, most people buy long-term care insurance so they can receive care in their own home. The need for assistance with bathing, dressing and using the bathroom is used to assess whether someone is eligible to use long-term care insurance benefits. For more information, visit American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.

Medicare covers certain aspects of in-home care. Generally, Medicare doesn’t cover homemaker or personal care services, like bathing and dressing, provided by a home health aide if that is the only care required. For more information, visit Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services or download their guide, Medicare and Home Health Care.
Options for in-home assistance can vary widely, so be sure to carefully consider the possibilities for the best care.

For more information on senior care, download our free guide, Regaining Your Confidence After a Life-Changing Injury.