As seniors’ physical capabilities decline or their cognitive functions take a turn for the worse, they will require ongoing support to perform the activities of daily living. The majority of elderly individuals elect to remain at home as they age, necessitating the help of a home care agency.
Several different types of home care agencies are available to provide a range of support. In general, in-home care is flexible. Professional caregivers assist care recipients anywhere from a few hours to 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, depending on need.
Home health agency
Skilled home care services are provided by home health agencies. The professionals who work in home health agencies include medical doctors, registered nurses, occupational and physical therapists and social workers. Trained and experienced home care assistants and volunteers are also on staff.
Home health agencies are Medicare certified. Being Medicare certified means that the home health agency has passed a state government agency inspection. The home health agency also meets the criteria to accept Medicare payments. Certified home health agencies are known to provide quality care.
Typically, a home health agency will focus on one specialty, such as nursing. When two or more specialty services are necessary to provide comprehensive services to a care recipient, the home health agency will organize and coordinate with a supervised caregiving team. The agency is liable for all care.
Home care agencies provide hospice care as a part of their elder care services. Seniors who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and are expected to live no more than six months are eligible to receive hospice care. Hospice care focuses on quality of life rather than treatment.
Compassionate, end-of-life care is provided by hospice care teams. Skilled professionals offer medical and psychological care. Volunteers on the hospice team may provide spiritual care and support grieving families. Hospice workers are available 24 hours a day to support the senior and families.
Hospice caregivers prescribe medication for symptom control and pain relief. Care recipients may receive occupational or physical therapies and any other Medicare-covered services to relieve pain resulting from the terminal illness. Medical supplies, such as wheelchairs or walkers, are provided.
Home care agencies
A large number of seniors are semi-independent and require minimal support at home. For older individuals who need only minimal assistance, home care aides from home care agencies are ideal. These professionals help seniors to complete the activities of daily living (ADLs).
Support with ADLs include help with bathing, dressing, toileting, and grooming. Meal preparation, medication reminders and assistance with light household chores are a part of home care aid services. These workers also provide invaluable companionship, reducing senior isolation and loneliness.
Nursing agencies offer seniors services, such as nursing care, companion services and HCA. Nurses at some staffing agencies evaluate the senior’s needs to ensure they are receiving the right type and level of home care by assigned workers. Nurses also supervise staff on an ongoing basis.
While nurses may provide supervision, the majority of states do not require staffing agencies to be licensed or meet regulatory criteria. Agencies do, however, recruit their own staff members. Each staffing agency is responsible for the quality of care they provide.
Prescribed medications, equipment and professional services are delivered to care recipients who receive intravenous or nutritional therapies through medical tubes. The preparation and delivery of medications are provided and organized by the pharmaceutical staff at pharmaceutical companies or infusion therapy companies.
Some Medicare-certified home health agencies are also known for their pharmaceutical and infusion therapies. Registered nurses may be sent to seniors’ homes to teach them self-administration. Pharmaceutical companies may require licensing and are responsible for the quality of care delivered.
Independent professionals can range from registered nurses and therapists to homemakers and companions. Care recipients or their families independently recruit, supervise, and pay these caregivers. Clients must comply with state and federal labor and safety laws. Licensing of these professionals is not a government requirement.
Medical equipment and supply dealers
Seniors may require wheelchairs, walkers, catheters, or wound care supplies in order to function at home. Medical equipment and supply dealers arrange for their staff to deliver and install these products as well as to demonstrate to seniors how to use them.
Respiratory therapy services are sometimes offered, whereby seniors learn to use their breathing equipment. Nurses may be employed to teach the care recipients techniques to self-administer medications and nutritional formulas. Depending on the state, organizations may need to be licensed.
Registries are employment agencies that help families match caregivers and nurses with care recipients. Caregiving professionals listed in registries are not screened or background checked. Rather, it is up to the family to hire, supervise and pay the caregiver found through the registry.
The many types of home care agencies may be overwhelming to families who are looking for extra in-home support for an aging loved one. Rather than scour through a multitude of choices, opt for one home care agency that provides comprehensive non-medical senior care, Assisting Hands Home Care.
As a reputable home care agency, families trust our background checked caregivers and experience the many benefits of our flexible services. We offer respite care, 24-hour home care & live-in care, hospice care, companion care, memory care and post-hospitalization care, among many other care services.
Compassionate caregivers from Assisting Hands Home Care provide care recipients with the support needed to accomplish the activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, toileting meal preparation and light chores. We provide transportation to doctor’s appointments and shop for groceries.
Turn to a home care agency with a reputation for excellence. Assisting Hands Home Care focuses on returning dignity and as much independence as possible to the lives of seniors in our care. Contact us at (630) 313-6160 to start on the path toward a better quality of life for your loved one.