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by | Apr 3, 2022

How to Find the Best Home Health Care Provider

nurse-visit

What Is Home Health Care?

Home health care is any medical care provided to patients at their homes rather than in a hospital or medical clinic. It involves many services, including basic assistance with daily activities, advanced medical services, and rehabilitative care. Care at home can be provided by a variety of health care providers, including physical therapists, occupational therapists, counselors, chiropractors, massage therapists, and many more. The most important aspect of choosing a home health care provider is finding one who will work well with your personal healthcare goals.

When to Use a Home Health Care Providers

Unless a nursing home or skilled nursing facility is required by your physician, being at home is preferred. It is familiar, comfortable, and considerably less costly than living in a dedicated facility. Home health care can include non-medical home helpers, to assist with physically burdensome activities like lifting and bathing. It also includes nurse-supervised caregivers, who are reporting frequently to a registered nurse remotely. And finally, it may include physical visits from doctors and nurses and other specialists like physical trainers. 

Whether you or your loved one are seeking in-home care while aging, or simply a season of care after a major medical procedure, home health care may be exactly what you need. 

Home Health Care Aide vs. Home Care Helper

 The primary difference between the two is the type of care you are seeking. Home Health Care typically has a medical component to it, but not always. A Home Care Helper is someone who provides assistance with daily living, and is not medically trained. A Home Health Care Aide is a caregiver who has additional training in medical care, and is licensed by state and government agencies. In addition, a medical doctor, registered nurse (such as a travel nurse), CNA, or other specialist may visit as part of a care plan. 

Intensive medical visits can involve things like 1-on-1 nursing care, which may include therapeutic bathing, stretches, blood tests, and even administering certain drugs. Because of the higher expense of these visits, they are typically not the most frequent caregiver. A caregiver, who may be under the supervision of one of these professionals, is trained in patient / client care. The non-medical tasks that they do can range in anything from light cleaning, cooking, organizing, to joining in walks around the block.

These non-medical tasks are just as important in a home health care package. The listening ear and companionship of a regular caretaker is essential.

Finding The Right Home Health Care Company 

Finding the right home care agency to provide your loved one with in-home care can be a difficult task. There are many home care agencies out there, and it can be difficult to know which one is right for your family. To help you find the best home care agency for your family, we have included some helpful suggestions here:

  1. Search the internet for home health care companies in your local area
  2. Locally owned companies tend to have a closer relationship with clients than national chains
  3. Look for home health care companies that have been in business for at least 10 years
  4. Read through online reviews and pay special attention to detailed reviews that describe the services they received
  5. Does this agency or company have an office near you? Or is everything outsourced?
  6. Are the staff and caregivers local?
  7. Do they operate in teams? (this is very helpful to cover for others during unexpected situations)
  8. Do they offer flexible schedules (typically locally-based companies)?

When you have selected a home health care company, the next step is to be matched with the right caregiver.

Does this company train their caregivers? Do they work together with nurses and medical professionals? Are non-medical caregivers trained to communicate directly with medical providers?  This will help lower the cost of the service, so that medical staff only visit when absolutely needed. Some agencies and companies try to force clients to accept expensive contracts with frequent doctor in-home visits. You want the option for that, but preference for primarily a home helper as the primary caregiver instead.

 If you have a special situation and need something specific, can they work with you? Most agencies offer a variety of services, so it’s worth asking which ones are best for. Trained non-medical caregivers, who have the experience to communicate directly with a medical provider, is the best choice.

Costs of Home Health Care

Home health care is expensive. The cost of home health care is typically about 25% of the cost of medical care, and the costs have doubled over the past 20 years. The costs of home health care vary depending on a variety of factors, including the hours that you need to work, the level of care you need, and the types of services you need. 

Most people assume that home health care services are expensive. Yet in most cases, the cost of in-home care can be less than 75% of facility care. There are prices that  provide a wide range of service options. Some offer a full health care package that includes both medical and non-medical visits. Others are bare-bones, with simply a home helper or aide. Having both is the best choice. 

For non-medical caregiving, the costs can vary widely from about $40-$100+ a day. In addition, adding semi-regular visits from medical professionals and therapists can multiply that number considerably. If the caregiver is allowed to communicate with a nurse or doctor, there may be added costs for remote supervision or phone calls.

What to Avoid for In Home Care

While costs have nearly doubled in the past 20 years for home health care, if done right, it can still be considerably less costly than being admitted to a facility. 

This is why it is essential to do your homework and pick the right home health care company from the beginning. And, make sure that they have a strong track record of happy caregiver-client matches. Check reviews. Ask for references if needed. 

Here are some aspects to avoid when deciding on in-home care:

  • Caregiver schedules that simply do not match you or your loved one’s schedule. It’s money down the drain.
  • Visits from medical providers that are not required by insurance, or recommended by your provider
  • Selecting a company or agency that is new to your area
  • Choosing a company that does not have enough staff to absorb call-ins and attrition
  •  Matched with a caregiver that is not trained for the specific needs of you or your loved one
  • Being locked into long-term contracts

Overall, if it doesn’t sound right, avoid it and find the right company to work with.

Improving Your Life through Home Health Care

Home health care can allow you and your family to continue your lives while you recover from illness or injury. It can also help you to maintain your independence at home. Having that ability to be both independent, and supported when you need it most, is a life saver.

Having a complete package of a primary caregiver, who assists with companionship, prevention of falls, and many other around-the-house needs, together with medical help, will make the care plan most beneficial. 

With the right in-home care, you can improve your quality of life, instead of being stationary in a nursing facility. Following these strategies and tips can help give you the right path to follow to choosing the best home health care provider nearby.

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About the author:

Mike Cutler writes on senior lifestyles elderly care, and homecare. Enjoying living in a multi-generational household, along with senior care are some of his passions. He lives with his family in Reno NV and enjoys going to the Sierra Nevada mountains for hiking and family activities.

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References

Golden Years

Privately Owned, Locally Established

As a privately-owned local company, Golden Years is well equip to adapt to each client’s needs on an individualized basis. We are not a franchise.
And because we are local, we are able to consult our care team concerning our clients care needs in a quick and efficient way. Our clients are our first priority. Nothing is more important to us than providing superior quality care for you or your loved.

Intensive Caregiver Training

At this time California has very few state requirements for caregivers. For this reason, many home care providers are not obligated to hire caregiver with formal training.
Golden Years always goes above and beyond the minimum requirements to ensure your loved one receives the best care possible. Each Golden Years caregiver completes Golden Years Academy, an orientation training program which ensures our caregivers have a complete understanding of all the essential care techniques. This provides for a safe, and effective home care experience.

Immediate Caregiver Response Time

Golden Years is available by phone 24/7.

Local Golden Years representatives are available to meet with clients for any reason.

We are here for you, at your convenience, to discuss any care needs or concerns. And we will create a customized solution for any care concern. In addition, we can schedule an in person meeting any day, and most times, available within a few hours. Lastly, we are available during the day, evening, or weekends. We will work around your schedule.

With Golden Years, clients and professional care partners can call anytime to speak with live staff 24/7.

Complimentary Nurse Wellness Visits

Every client receives a complimentary wellness visit within 30 days of care service from Golden Years' own nursing staff.

Although no regulations require nurse oversight in California, Golden Years goes above and beyond the industry standard. Our clients are routinely visited by a Golden Years nurse. Each visit consists of a wellness check where our nurse discusses care needs and takes notes pertaining to the overall wellness of the client. These notes are submitted to our care team for review, where care changes are discussed and implemented after the family’s approval. We go the extra mile to ensure your loved one receives the best care possible. We ca say with confidence, you won’t find any other locally owned care provider who will care for you or your loved one like us – By the way, there is never a fee for this service, it’s always free.

Specialized Care Management Program

At Golden Years In-Home Care, each client is assigned a dedicated Care Manager, ensuring personalized care that is second to none. This manager is available for questions, support, and scheduling changes.

Care Managers develop personal relationships with clients and their families, gaining insight into specific preferences and needs. This allows for effective communication, ensuring caregivers follow the care plan and adjust as needed.

Care Managers oversee caregivers, arrange services, make supervisory visits to seniors' homes, and conduct monthly wellness calls to families. They are specially trained to handle all client requests, providing comprehensive support for every client.