Although most assisted living facilities do their best to make the people who are living there comfortable, and able to enjoy their lives, it should come as no surprise that most people would prefer to be in their own homes. Fortunately, we live in a society where that is increasingly more likely to happen. The home health care industry is thriving, partly because it’s cheaper, in most cases, to hire someone to come into your home rather than endure the cost of living in a facility. That doesn’t mean it isn’t expensive, only that it’s less costly than institutionalized living. Here are a few tips on how to save on home health care.
Do it Yourself
Probably the most cost effective method of paying for home health care is to do it yourself. If someone in your family has a nursing background, you can approach them for tips on caring for someone who can’t do things for themselves anymore. Of course, the patient’s needs are the most important consideration, so you shouldn’t try and do things you’re distinctly unqualified for. The most important thing you can do is realize when you’ve reached your limit. Taking care of someone on a continuous basis can wear you out, so it’s important to take a break now and then in order to keep from getting burned out. The patient will suffer if you’re in over your head, so know when to call in the professionals.
When it comes time to seek professional assistance with an elderly or infirm person, you should look for a qualified home health care agency. Although it’s important to get qualified help, you should realize that the most expensive agency isn’t necessarily the best one. Seek the advice of your family and friends. Ask people who have been in a similar situation which agency they would recommend. You should also ask your doctor if they can recommend a good home health care agency. They will know the patient’s needs and will be familiar with all the agencies in the area. Make appointments with each of the agencies that have been recommended so you can get a feel for the professionalism of the staff. Sit down with your family and friends and go over the pros and cons of each agency, and then make a decision on which home health care agency would be best able to take care of your loved one at a reasonable rate.
A good source of information is the Internet. We are fortunate to live in an age where access to information is almost unlimited. If you or a loved one has a computer at home, you’re only a few mouse clicks away from an incredible amount of information regarding at-home care. If you don’t have a computer at home, a visit to your local library will accomplish the same purpose. Once you’re on the Internet, type a phrase such as ‘at-home health care,’ or ‘home health care services’ into your search engine. You will be rewarded with more than a few websites that you can visit in order to find out what options are available to you. One website that may contain valuable information is www.eldercare.gov. By going over the information contained on this website, as well as other websites devoted to home health care, you may be able to find a good home health care agency that will provide services at a reasonable price.
Medicare is a program of the federal government designed to help defer medical expenses of people who are in need, but can’t afford to pay for it themselves. It can be helpful to people who are receiving home health care, but only under certain circumstances. In order to qualify for home health care benefits under Medicare you must be under a doctor’s care, and receive written orders from them to receive specified in-home care. Personal care, such as bathing, and other non-medical care isn’t generally considered to be a medical necessity and is usually excluded from qualification for Medicare payments.
Help From the State
Most states have government funded programs available to assist in alleviating the cost of home health care. This is another area in which doing research on the Internet can help you locate help for your home health care needs. Type in something along the lines of ‘agency on aging,’ along with your state’s name, into your search engine, and numerous websites will come up that contain information on home health care within your particular state.
Guest post from Sandy Morgan. Sandy writes for NursingHomes.org.