Melanie (Mel) Sullivan, Ed.D., has been named Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer at Ecumen,...
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Home care services encompass a wide range of health, supportive and social services to empower a person to live in his or her home rather than moving to an assisted living community or nursing home. These can include transportation, delivery services, meal services, home repair, social engagement, care management, health care and other services.
Choosing a Home Care Services Provider
What are In-Home Services?
These encompass a wide range of health, supportive and social services to empower a person to live in his or her home rather than moving to an assisted living community or nursing home. These can include transportation, delivery services, meal services, home repair, social engagement, care management, health care and other services. The most-requested service within at-home services is home care. Home care is an option when a person prefers to stay at home but needs ongoing care or services that might not easily or effectively be provided solely by family and friends.
Who Provides Home Care?
Home care services are usually provided by licensed home care organizations, but may also be delivered through independent providers. Home care organizations include home health agencies; hospice providers; homemaker and home care aide (HCA) agencies; public and private agencies.
What Should I Ask Potential Home Care Service Providers?
How long have you been providing these services? How are you accredited? Are you certified for Medicare? A home services provider’s Medicare survey report is public information. If the provider is not certified, ask why. Do you have a state license? Most states – but not all – require home service providers to be licensed and reviewed regularly. These reports are public reports that should be accessible to you to compare providers. Is this part of a larger senior services or medical provider? Who are your references?
Ensuring the Right Fit
How will you empower me to live the life I desire? What are the services that you provide? Who will be the person or team of people I will be working with? What are their qualifications, licensures and credentials? What continuing education do you provide your employees? How do you ensure there is a good fit between me and the person whom I will be hiring?
Do you provide a written care and service plan before we begin, so that we are all on the same page as to what is being provided? Will you provide a list of the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved (sometimes known as a patient’s bill of rights)? Are there any limits on the types of tasks performed? If so, what are the limits? Can you serve as a care manager if I’d like you to be a liaison between my physician and me? When will services be provided? Is care available round-the-clock, if necessary? What procedures are in place for emergencies? How are problems addressed and resolved? Who can you or another designated person contact with requests, questions or complaints? How quickly can services begin?
How do you handle expenses and billing? What are all associated costs? Will any services be covered by health insurance or Medicare?