In-home care services, and what to expect as a patient

In-home care is a viable solution for people who cannot care for themselves and are ordered to receive treatment within the comfort of their own home. However, for those who have only received treatment in a healthcare facility, they may not know what benefits in-home care treatment can provide. Questions like, what kind of services do in-home care agencies provide, does my insurance cover in-home care, and what can I expect as an in-home care patient arise. The good news is, all of those questions about in-home care can be answered here.

What services does in-home care provide?

In-home care is when trained health professionals visit an individual’s home to provide physical therapy and other services. Individuals struggling with balance and mobility can have a professional physical therapist or occupational therapist visit their home, avoiding the hassle of traveling to a healthcare facility.

Home care provides non-medical treatment to assist with daily tasks, such as bathing, household chores, and preparing meals. But home care also gives patients someone to talk to avoid being alone. While an in-home companion provides non-medical care,  in-home therapy provides treatment to improve strength and flexibility, dexterity, communication skills, swallowing, and cognitive functioning. 

What to expect as an in-home care patient?

A patient seeking in-home care should expect to receive the same quality care in-home as they would in a healthcare facility. In-home caretakers are trained and vetted to ensure they are qualified to treat a patient according to their diagnosis. In-home care patients may be able to choose their caretaker, the times they receive treatment, and the frequency of treatment.

Home care treatment is designed to deliver treatment to patients, manage daily tasks, and also provide an opportunity for patients to socialize. Having home car assistance should feel a lot like having a family or friend is visiting to help ease pain from diagnosis or injury, make daily tasks easier, and listen to your day’s greatest challenges. It’s been proven that in-home care can even help reduce loneliness and depression in patients who rely on home health services.

Does Medicare cover home health services?

Medicare covers initial consultations to determine what type of treatment is most suitable for a patient. When it comes to in-home care, Medicare covers medical and non-medical treatment as long as it ordered by a medical provider. Services Medicare covers for in-home services include:

  • Part-time or intermittent skilled nursing care
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech-language pathology services
  • Medical social services
  • And, part-time or intermittent home health aide services (personal hands-on care)

More information on eligibility to Medicare benefits can be found here.

How do I know a caregiver will be the right match?

Finding the right caregiver is a challenge, especially for family members. The caregiver should not only be qualified to treat certain diagnoses, but they should also be caring, compassionate, and genuinely investing in the well being of a patient. It is up to the in-home care facility and often times the patient’s family to coordinate the most suitable caregiver. This usually involves a meeting with the spouse or children of the patient and the caregiver to get acquainted and ensure they are the right fit.

When the right caregiver is paired with a patient, the bond is more than a patient-caregiver relationship. Caregivers become intertwined in all of the happenings of the patient’s life and often feels like another member of the family. When patients feel like their caregiver is a friend or family member coming over, it is a clear sign the in-home care agency took the time to create a successful pairing.

In-home care can help prolong a loved one’s life and well being when close family members are unable to meet those needs. When your loved one is home alone, an in-home caregiver is there to ask how their day is going, prepare a meal, go for a walk outside, and drive them to medical appointments. In the best cases, in-home caregivers are an extended family member to be there for a loved one when they need it the most.

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