Are Home Health Care Services Safe For Elders?

Are Home Health Care Services Safe For Elders?

Our elders at the aging phase require attention and care similar to what we received as an infant. It’s a 24 hours job with additional tantrums and physical support. Simultaneously, several full time working individuals prefer admission of elderly in a home care center that can provide quality care 24/7.

Along with a stigma of abandonment associated with the home health care centers, most of the elderly do not favor sending them away for better care. Elinor Ginzler, the director of Livable Communities at AARP, concluded after studies that 90% of the older people want to stay at home as they age and often experience mild to moderate anxiety (sometimes severe) in the new settings. 

Due to anxiety at such an age, elders, after admission to health care centers, experience a fast decline in health and socializing. But home health centers are not your only option whether you are a stay home caregiver or full time working caregiver. You can seek senior home health care services for top-notched personal and medical care, while your loved one can enjoy and stay relaxed in an environment they are familiar with.

Due to the healthcare industry’s progressive expansion, a home health agency can offer you similar and additional services compared to elderly care centers. Although the concept of home health services is very convenient but identical to another service, you may have a negative experience as well.

One of the marketing strategies is to claim to be professional and better than the other agencies, but not every agency can fulfill its promises in reality.

Similar to other experiences, such self-claimed professionals can be unsafe to call at home. These agencies can be treacherous in the sense that professional sent is stiff in nature or assistance, are not well trained in handling equipment or physiotherapy, and are irresponsible and distracted about the meals and medication. These aspects can harm the health of your loved ones.

 For assurance that the agency is safe and passionate about adults, below are a few points you should consider before hiring.

Availability of the Services:

One of the benefits of home health services is that you don’t have to worry about the center’s capacity or the limited number of days. Most home care services offer flexible scheduling and the number of days you want to seek assistance.

However, it is best not to assume that every agency has the same policy regarding the scheduling for the days. Some agencies may have a limited number of day’s standard to avail services. Depending on your requirement, make sure that you are well familiar with the scheduling policy.

Ask the agency if you book services for the last minute request and how early the scheduling should be requested.  Another important question that you should ask is whether the billing policy is per hour or day and what actions are being taken for unpunctuality. Punctuality is an essential factor for home health care services.

Certified and Experienced in Field:

Individuals who have elders with progressive illnesses are in specific need of a specialist in the field. The care for the elderly with a personality alternating or physically draining illness shouldn’t be compromised. Certified and experienced in the area can refer to professionals specialized in several kinds of therapy such as physio and occupational therapy; they should be trained in handling aggressive tantrums of dementia or Alzheimer’s patients and are passionate about gentle looking after elders post-surgery recovery.

Ask your agency if they can send a professional who has prior experience handling the elderly with a specific progressive illness. If you like more assurance, you can pose a scenario and ask how the professional is trained to handle the situation.

Personal Hygiene:

Excellent personal hygiene is one of the most important aspects of hiring professional health care. Most of the bad reviews you will read about agencies or center providers will include insufficient or unsatisfactory personal hygiene.

Inquire the desired agency about perineal care and personal hygiene services, especially if you hire a specialist or professional for the progressive illness patient. Ask the agency whether there is any kind of limitation on the services.

Smooth Care Transitions:

One of the critical questions you should ask the agency is about the smooth care transitions from hospital to home and vice versa, whether they can provide or arrange the patient’s equipment at home. Most of the certified agencies are capable of providing the equipment and give professionals to operate them.

Certified Agency:

One of the first concerns you should have is whether the agency is certified or not. Medicare and Medicaid cover most of the home health care service costs in insurance if a certified agency provides care. Moreover, a certified agency means that they meet the state and federal requirements.

One of the red flags is when an agency hides any additional charges that your pocket has to convert. Most of the certified agencies do not hide the extra cost. However, it is essential to ask about the price that will come out of your pocket.

Background Checks:

Once you have ticked all the requirement boxes for the agency, the next and final step is to ask about the background checks and quality scores. While getting a recommendation from a family or friend about the home health care services is the right choice; however, it is not necessary, your social circle is familiar with the services. An agency’s background checks and quality scores can help you make the final decision.

Most of the health care agencies are subjected to regulatory inspection every once in a while. On the other hand, the medical centers and Medicaid services also monitor and report on the services’ quality. In such circumstances above three means the agency is safe to hire.

In this respect, some of the questions you should ask the agency include:

  • When was the last time your agency was inspected by an outside organization, and are there any documents for it?
  • What is the agency quality score as compared to the national average?

The mentioned above are a few aspects that can help you judge an agency’s expertise at the primary level.