Home Healthcare: An Attractive Alternative
By Michael Plontz, Staff Writer

The majority of caregivers would like to keep their loved ones as close to them as possible.  It�s a way to gain better control over their care and studies show that loved ones often fair better in familiar surroundings. However, giving care in the home can be a little overwhelming while trying to keep up with life�s other responsibilities. Home healthcare may be the answer.

Home healthcare  can provide the whole gamut from healthcare to social services to patients in familiar, comfortable surroundings�namely the patient�s home or the home of their caregiver.  Not only is care given by a professional, but the family is educated on a variety of subjects in order to better equip them to care for their loved one.  It helps give the loved one a greater sense of independence while keeping the family together.  These services are available for all health problems, all ages, and for as long as an hour or around the clock.

Home healthcare is not limited to nursing care and physical therapy, but may include homemaking services such as food shopping and preparation, doing laundry, and housekeeping.  Social services include helping families cope with the unique set of problems associated with caring for an elderly or sick person.  Other services may include hospicee or respite care.  hospicee services deal with the social, emotional and physical care of terminally ill patients and their families.  Respite care may include equipment service, home-delivered meals, and transportation and escort programs.

Home healthcare is usually a team effort.  Licensed practical nurses, home health aides and registered nurses are the part of the team that travels to and from the residence to provide healthcare.  Specialists like dieticians, physical therapists or speech therapists may be needed also.  A physician may be involved to outline specific care needs.  Homemakers, chore workers, and volunteers may be employed to deal with the non-medical care of the loved one and their residence.

As with all endeavors, knowledge is the most powerful tool with which to be equipped.  There has been some controversy lately concerning criminals who are licensed home health aides and those working as aides who are not even licensed.  The following questions should be helpful in making a home health care decision.

These questions should at least get you started on your quest to find the best and most affordable home healthcare available.  Remember, home healthcare does not mean that you can�t handle it anymore. It does mean that you recognize your limitations and you need help.  Home healthcare lets loved ones maintain some independence while allowing you to have help maintaining your loved one.

Home HealthCare Checklist

Is there a free evaluation visit?
Is this agency certified?
Is it accredited?
What is the agency�s philosophy?
What is the agency�s reputation in the community?
What type of personnel are available?
How are the employees screened?
If you don�t like an employee, can you request a different one?
Are the employees insured?
What is done if an employee cancels?
Does the agency provide any specialty services?
Can you drive me to an appointment if necessary?
Does the nurse have a written plan of care and does he or she do follow-up visits?
Will my insurance pay for this?
Will my insurance pay for private duty or long-term nursing?
What is the cost the cost per hour?
If I have no resources, can you refer me to an agency that can assist me?


Home Health Resources

Health and Wellness
� Request a Sears Catalog � Toll Free 1-866-326-1750
or www.searshealthandwellness.com
Your source for quality home health and wellness.

Quality Homecare Products
� 1-866-822-1692
333 Leffingwell, Suite 121
St. Louis, MO 63122
An easy and convenient way to shop for your incontinent supplies.

� Products to Improve Life � 1-888-833-8875
920 Park Lane Court
Alpharetta, GA  30022
All types of home health products.

Ameds.com Home Healthcare Supplies
� 1-866-802-6337
P.O. Box 2488
Duxbury, MA 02331
Over 10,000 home health products to better meet your needs.

DMP Duraline

Bladder control products

AGS Foundation For Health
Eldercare At Home Workbook
1-800-334-1429 Ext. 2529

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