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Frequently asked questions.
Home Health Care, commonly known as Home Health, consists of skilled care delivered directly at the home of the patient. This type of care is administered by licensed healthcare workers such as nurses, aides, and therapists. It is provided to treat or manage an illness, injury, or medical condition.
Home health services can be provided at the patient’s home (it can be a private home or an adult foster home), a long-term nursing facility, an assisted living facility, or a memory care facility.
Services covered by home health care include medical assistance such as skilled nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy. It can also include post-operative care or caring for an Alzheimer’s patient. It also consists of non-medical services such as assistance with daily living and medical social services.
While the two services have similar names, yet they have a significant difference. The only similarity is that both are provided at the home of the patient. The scope of home health care is much more diverse, and it is exclusively provided by licensed professionals.
Home health care can be provided to any patient, but for covering it under Medicare, the patient must be deemed ‘Homebound.” This means that the condition of the patients prevents them from being able to leave home safely without assistance from others or assistive devices such as wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, and canes.
Generally, the patient is still considered homebound if he/she leaves home for receiving medical care that cannot be provided at home. Certain non-medical leaves such as going to the church, or attending special family events are also allowed.
Home health care is beneficial by several accounts.
- It can ensure faster recovery time from an illness or an injury.
- The patient receives the treatment in a familiar environment.
- The patient might regain self-sufficiency with time.
- It is less expensive than hospital admission.
- It can provide better symptom management.
- The Home Health Care staff acts as a liaison between the patient and the patient’s family, the doctor, and registered nurses.
- Home health staffs provide a high quality of care even for chronic conditions.
The first step to receiving home health care is to get physician’s orders. Next, we would help you develop a detailed care plan according to your needs. It will require an initial consultation with the patient, assessing the patient’s needs to develop the treatment plan. Other caregivers and family members are encouraged to participate in this initial consultation. The patient’s spouse also has an important role in these discussions.
After the service begins, the home health care staff will implement the plan and keep the physician updated at all times. The type and frequency of home visits will depend upon the needs of the individual patient. Some patients may need daily care while others may need short visits only once or twice per week.
Yes, it can be covered under Medicare as long as certain eligibility criteria are met.
- The patient must be “homebound” as per the definition of Medicare
- The patient must require part-time or intermittent skilled care to prevent or slow down an existing condition, improve it and maintain a stable condition.
- The patient should be under the care of a medical doctor prescribing home health care. The documentation for in-person visits with the doctor should be dated within either three months before starting home health care or within one month of starting it.
Medicare typically covers skilled nursing care and rehabilitative services such as physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy. Depending on your unique requirements, additional services such as medical social service, durable medical equipment, medical supplies, or other services may be covered.
Patients under the original Medicare plan may be able to receive home health care at no cost. However, you may need to pay 20% of Medicare-approved costs for durable medical equipment. Patients who have the Medicare Advantage Plan may be qualified for additional coverage.
Non-skilled personal care services such as cooking, cleaning, grooming, and transportation are not covered by Medicare.
Life as a senior does not have to be limited any more than the natural effect of aging. You can still live a fulfilling life surrounded by friends and family members. As for living options, you can choose home care services. A trained healthcare worker, sensitive to your age-related requirements, will reach your home to assist you with everyday living. Home care workers offer a wide range of services from minor housekeeping, companionship, and special care for seniors suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Seniors are a susceptible social segment to financial scamming. It’s a multi-million dollar issue and affects all seniors. To ensure that you do not fall victim to any of these scams, you should be aware of the different types of methods employed by scammers. If you are already a victim of any such scam, do not feel embarrassed to come forward and report the scam. Let the law take its course in identifying scammers and bringing them to the task. Remember, the only way to prevent these from fleecing you is to be aware and not fall into their traps.
If you receive a call, that’s reportedly from the IRS informing you of unpaid taxes, and the legal consequences of not clearing them, it’s probably a scam. IRS will always send bills via the postal service and will not threaten with legal action or insist on paying by wire transfer or ask for banking information over the phone. Be aware of Medicare scams asking you to pay by wire transfer or credit cards for services related to Medicare.
If you receive a phone call from your supposed grandson or granddaughter who starts by saying, “Guess who?”, always double-check if it’s really from your dear ones. Don’t believe it if you receive an email informing you of winning the infamous Jamaican lottery worth millions of dollars.
Elder emotional abuse can be caused by verbal harassment of the elder. This includes yelling, bullying, or otherwise belittling the elder verbally. Psychological trauma can be inflicted by threatening or blaming the elder with problems they haven’t created. Creating isolation is another form of emotional abuse. The elder may be cut off from loved ones, which can lead to mental health issues such as depression.
Warning signs of emotional abuse include being afraid of the caregiver or family members, engaging in self-harm, having low self-esteem, or appearing shyer than usual. Such things must be brought to the notice of law enforcement so that the rights of elders can be protected. Several organizations work devotedly to prevent such kind of elder abuse.
Physical elder abuse consists of non-accidental use of force against elders. It can result in physical pain, impairment, or injury. Besides hitting or shoving, it might consist of inappropriate use of drugs or using physical constraints on the elder.
Sexual elder abuse involves a sexual act with the elder without their consent. Showing pornographic material to an elderly person, forcing the person to watch sex acts, or forcing the elder to undress also constitutes sexual abuse of elders.
If you have witnessed such abuse, you should make it a point to report them to law enforcement. If you are a victim of any kind of abuse, let it be known to the people whom you can trust so that you receive quality care.