Many families prefer to keep loved ones at home rather than being hospitalized or sent to a nursing facility. Even those who have complex health concerns can be cared for comfortably at home with home health care services in New York. But there are a few questions you will want to ask before finalizing an arrangement with a health care services agency. Asking these questions will give you a better idea of what you can expect from these services so you can be more comfortable with the arrangements.
Seven Questions to Ask Before Hiring Home Health Care Services
1. What Services Are Offered?
Knowing the type of services that are offered by the agency is one of the most important questions to ask since not all agencies offer the same types of services. For example, some agencies specialize in live-in health care aides, while others have aides that visit daily. Depending on the health concerns of your loved one, you can narrow the agency you hire based on the services they provide.
It’s also important to understand the specific tasks that a home health care aide can assist with. Many families rely on home health care aides to bridge the gap between tasks that the family can and can’t do, which can include anything from daily living tasks to medical-related tasks. At Parent Care, our home health care aides are prepared to assist with:
- Bathing, grooming, and daily hygiene
- Mobility and transfers
- Fall prevention
- Medication reminders
- Meal preparation
- Household chores
- Grocery shopping
- Appointment escort
Home health care aides are hired for short-term assistance for those who have temporary disabilities or physical injuries that may prevent them from completing specific daily tasks, such as hygiene and housekeeping. Short-term assistance is appropriate for those who have just had surgery, those who need assistance with range of motion exercises, and those who need help with mobility and transfers during their recovery.
Long-term assistance is ideal for those who require daily assistance for everyday tasks. Even if your loved one lives with family, hiring a home health care aide for long-term assistance can take the pressure off family members to care for disabled and chronically ill loved ones. Long-term assistance typically means that the home health care aide will assist with daily living activities, as well as offer basic nursing services to make living at home comfortable for your loved one.
Premature babies typically spend several weeks or months at the hospital, but even after coming home, many parents require help for the additional care these infants need. A home health care aide will help parents monitor, feed, bathe, and provide other daily assistance for parents of premature newborns and disabled children. Pediatric support can be vital to establishing good care in the home for children who have special health needs.
2. How Are Services Paid For?
Many people believe that paying for home health services is expensive, but the truth is that these programs are affordable and many are covered by insurance plans. Parent Care is available to those who are qualified for Medicaid. During the enrollment process, your insurance and finance information will be used to assess your qualifications for home health services.
3. Who Is Qualified for Services?
Two factors will determine whether or not you or your loved one is qualified for services. The first will be your insurance situation and your physical location. Parent Care offers services to those who have active New York Medicaid coverage, including those who live in The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan.
The second factor is whether or not the patient needs assistance with ADLs and IADLs. Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are the basic living requirements chronically ill and disabled people may have trouble completing themselves, including hygiene, meal preparation, and housekeeping. The number of ADLs and IADLs the patient needs assistance with, the more hours of help they will qualify for.
4. Will You Have the Same Aide Each Day?
In general, yes, you will have the same aide each day or the same set of aides each week. This is important because working with the same aide means your loved one will receive better, more personalized care. It’s also important for trust and rapport to be built between a health care aide and a client, so it’s a top priority to hire an aide that works well with your loved one’s personality and values.
On the occasion that your home health care aide is sick, running late, or unable to work their shift, it’s important that your health care services agency has a contingency plan in place. In this situation, you have the option of arranging for a replacement aide if assistance is needed that day. The agency will send an available health care aide as a temporary substitute until the regular aide can come back to work.
5. What Are Hiring and Training Processes Like?
When you first begin home health services, many people believe that a home health care aide is essentially a stranger you are inviting into your home to help you take care of your loved one. Understandably, many people who hire home health services want to know about the hiring and training processes that screen home health care aides.
It’s important for patients and family members to feel comfortable with the home health care aide that will be assisting with daily tasks. You may want to ask about employment screening, aide evaluation, and training for home health aides, particularly aides who will need to meet some health-related requirements for ADLs.
6. How Do You Arrange for Home Health Care Services?
Arranging for home health services is a matter of contacting an agency and starting the enrollment process. The enrollment process will gather information about the patient who needs care, insurance, and may include an assessment for which ADLs the patient requires assistance to complete each day.
It’s common for a registered nurse or other health care provider to assess the living situation to determine whether or not the patient will be able to receive adequate care at home for their health conditions. Home health service agencies prioritize the care given to patients, so arrangements can be made for part-time, full-time, and live-in assistance.
7. What Are the Protocols for Emergency Situations?
Finally, it’s important to ask about the protocols for emergencies, such as health emergencies that may require immediate medical attention. Agencies typically have a protocol put in place that will allow the home health care aide to contact emergency services first so the patient can receive prompt medical care. Asking about emergency protocols, even for weather disasters, can put your mind at ease.
More and more families want the reassurance of caring for a loved one at home, but may not have the time or resources to provide adequate care by themselves. Hiring a home health care aide through an agency is the best way to keep your loved one comfortable at home while also meeting all of their daily health and living needs. For more information about home health care services in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, and New York, please contact Parent Care today.