Home Caregiver Resources: What is Available to Help?

Oct 25, 2011

One of the areas we have written on in a number of posts and continue to get a lot of questions about is what type of senior care help is available for the elderly in the home environment.  Many families first encounter home health services via a doctor’s recommendation, often after a surgery or hospitalization or in discussing aging concerns.  Doctors are most familiar with services covered by insurance, so they will usually write an order and refer you to a Medicare home health agency for skilled home health services.  However, Skilled Home Health Care is only one piece of the puzzle for safely aging in place.

You can read more about when Medicare covers home health care and the type of services provided via a Skilled Home Health provider.  This benefit is very important and there are many times when your elderly loved one can use these services, for example to received physical therapy after a condition has caused weakness or after surgery or to get nursing help to get a condition under control or change dressings after an operation.  However, here are some of the needs and services in the home that families often seek, which are typically provided by a non-medical home care company like EasyLiving, Inc.:

    • Ongoing transportation and errand needs (or short term help when driving is not possible after eye surgery or until someone recuperates fully from surgery);
    • Meal preparation, shopping and reminders to take medications properly;
    • Help with maintaining a household, light housekeeping, laundry and other day-to-day needs;
    • Personal care assistance: help bathing, dressing, maintaining personal hygiene;
    • Personal safety;
    • Alzheimer’s care.

Often when families decide to bring home care services in, they are searching for a consistent caregiver/team of caregivers who can help with a variety of tasks and get to know their loved one.  Medicare Home Health Care is not designed to meet this need, but to provide intermittent help with specific skilled tasks.  EasyLiving, Inc. works in conjunction with Medicare companies to provide a total care plan for meeting an elder’s needs.  Sometimes the needs fluctuate as a person recovers from periods of illness or has a decline, and a home care provider can modify the careplan as needed to meet your needs and budget.

In addition, a geriatric care management assessment can help families identify the best overall recommendations to help an elderly loved one safely age in place.  Looking at the medical, physical, psychosocial, spiritual and financial situation as a whole, a professional care manager can save families a lot of valuable time and money determining what will most help.

In Florida, the Agency for Healthcare Administration licenses home care agencies and inspects them to ensure standards are met.  There is no regulation of private providers and you are responsible for hiring (background checking, etc.) and managing the employment.  It is important to understand the pros and cons in hiring any type of senior care entity.  You can read more and find Florida home health and Assisted Living Facility reports in our article here.

Questions about home care, Medicare home health care, senior care resources?  Our Caregiver Tips emails provide monthly resources delivered to you, or contact us today at 727-448-0900 for answers and assistance.

Topics: News & Local Resources

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