An aging parent is in the emergency room after forgetting to take their medication, an elderly relative has difficulty with simple tasks of daily living, or a significant other is showing early signs of Alzheimer’s. Caregivers everywhere are forced to navigate the complexities of the healthcare system, while searching for information and resources that will allow their loved one to remain in their own home.
In many cases, home healthcare is a viable option for your loved one in achieving optimal health. The next steps -- finding the right care -- may be overwhelming to you as a caregiver. Many times, patients and caregivers are handed a list of home care providers and are left to choose for themselves in a crisis or upon day of discharge. You may be left with many questions, such as, ‘Who offers the most care options?' 'Which provider is the most qualified?' 'How will we pay for care?’
It is never too early to think about home healthcare. Prior to admission, your plan can be put in place with the following four-step guide:
- Assess and Discuss. If your loved one will be provided with a home healthcare provider under a doctor’s orders, the physician and agreed-upon provider will discuss the condition to decide what services are needed. If you are looking for services without a doctor’s order, educate yourself on the condition, determine your loved one’s needs and assess their current health and safety in the home. Home care providers will conduct a home assessment upon admission to evaluate the patient, confirm services needed, and further discuss with the patient’s physician.
- Research and Contact Options. In most markets, there are several home care providers that offer the same variety of services. Begin researching local providers and compile a list of their information and services to compare. To see who offers the most comprehensive plan of care, inquire about the organization, their services, capabilities, and caregivers. For a comprehensive list of questions, see "25 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Home Healthcare Provider."
- Determine Method of Payment. If your loved one is eligible for Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance, discuss payment options for home healthcare and hospice services with the chosen provider. Service offerings may include private-duty care, ranging from assistance with tasks of daily living to skilled nursing care to personal care.
- Decide on a Plan of Care. Once you have chosen a home health provider, and a doctor’s order has been received if necessary, an admission nurse will conduct a patient and home safety assessment to determine which services are appropriate and develop a plan of care. If your family requires or requests additional services, private-duty care is available to meet further needs.
If at any time during the process you have a question, the Intake Admission Nurses at Visiting Nurse Association of Ohio are available assist and meet your home care needs.
VNA of Ohio offers a comprehensive, continuum of care for patients living with or recovering from surgery, illness or injury. VNA of Ohio home healthcare services include medical/surgical care, chronic disease management, mental health services, rehabilitation services and hospice care. Home Assist™, private-duty care, meets the individualistic needs of each patient and family, allowing for a peace of mind, a better quality of life and a healthier and happier home.