As a follow-up to our recent post, we decided to compile and answer some of our readers' most common questions about hiring a caregiver for their loved ones. The representatives from Well Care were gracious enough to answer our list of questions regarding calling, scheduling, and what to look for in a prospective home care and home health care agency.
When should I call to make arrangements for care?
This will depend on your specific situation. Many individuals are not faced with the situation until a loved one is admitted to a hospital and then discharged back to their home. Keeping that scenario in mind, it is never too early to start doing your research on home health and home care options in your neighborhood.
From hospital discharge to the first home visit from a health or care professional can typically be set up by a reputable home health provider within 24 hours. For non-hospital-related situations, the further you call in advance, the more time the agency has to construct your ideal care plan.
What is covered by my insurance and how can I find out?
Speaking with your insurance provider to understand your coverage is highly recommended, but the care provider should have someone available to help you understand the parameters of your insurance coverage. Before calling, it is always great to have your loved one’s medical history, medical insurance information, and medical and financial power of attorney available.
What range of services can a home health or home care agency provide? How do I know what kind of care my loved one needs?
For home health care related to a hospital visit, your primary care physician will recommend the proper treatment and the agency can cater accordingly.
For all other situations, a good company will first consult with the patient. For example, Well Care begins their service by providing their client with a free consultation and then sends a registered nurse to the home to evaluate the patient’s needs. This service model is imperative for understanding the patient’s exact needs and 101 Mobility practices a similar process when they evaluate a client’s home for accessibility.
Are there other services I should inquire about or may not be aware of?
Transportation – Ask if the care providers are able to take your loved one to an appointment and check if they are able to provide their own transportation to your loved one’s home.
Responsiveness – If you’re out of town for a few days, what care are they able and willing to provide for transportation, home care, and home health care? Ask if they have a system for a scenario like your loved one getting locked out of their home. Well Care has a medication management system and medical alert system available to help monitor from afar. They also have on-call nurses for medical emergencies.
Progression – If your loved one develops a need for more detailed care, does the agency provide those services, or do they have a bridge program to help with the transition?
Be prepared to ask questions. This is a major decision, but we hope this helped you organize your thoughts and develop questions that are important to you and your loved ones!