In-Home Care Agencies – Helping Patients Stay Independent, at Home and In Charge
Experts agree that seniors who remain in their home and are provided with the assistance they need, age more slowly, are happier and enjoy a better quality of life. Patients will often seek out answers to care questions from their physician or staff. This is where a relationship with an in home care agency can be helpful. You may ask what is home care, what can you expect, and how can you help your patients select an agency.
What Are In-Home Care Agencies?
Homecare, also known as in-home care, is non-medical care provided in the client’s home, assisted living, or nursing home facilities. It includes custodial care and assistance with activities of daily living. Homecare workers are professionally trained caregivers who provide companionship and are responsible for maintaining a safe environment for the person receiving care. In home care can provide services along with other types of agencies as long as they do not duplicate services.
What to Expect from an Agency
In home care consists of a bevy of services which include the following: House keeping chores, laundry, linen changes, meal preparation, personal hygiene, bathing, dressing, toileting, errands, transportation needs and many other services. You should expect your caregiver to be prompt, correctly attired and be trained in the skills needed for the tasks involved. You should be able to contact someone 24 hours a day 7 days a week and always get a prompt response to a question or concern.
Selecting between In-Home Care Agencies
Finding the best home care assistance for your patients or families situation requires a bit of preparation, effective research and interviewing. Before you begin your search, you should have in mind a list of tasks and skills that may be needed for your patients and family situation. Based on your needs, you will be able to narrow your search to those agencies who can best serve your patient or family member.
As of January 2008, in the state of Indiana, agencies that provide in home care exclusively were regulated and now must retain a license through the Indiana State Department of Health. These agencies now fall under the category of Personal Service Agency (PSA). The first question for any agency you contact should be “are you licensed by the State of Indiana”.
Some additional questions you might ask an In Home Care Agency:
- How do you select your employees?
- Do you do a background check on all your employees?
- Is there a plan that details specific tasks the caregiver must carry out? Will you receive a copy?
- Will a supervisor oversee the quality of care?
- Who should you call if there is a problem?
- Are there complaint procedures that should be followed?
- What procedures are in place to handle emergencies?
- Can you provide me with references for the agency?
- What type of payment do you except? ie. Private pay, Medicaid waiver, long term care insurance.
By 2030 there will be about 70 million people over 65, more than twice their number in 1996. Over 5 million of these will need assistance with activities of daily living. The selection of an in home care agency is critical to keeping our senior population independent, at home and In Charge®.