When home health care services are needed, you may not know how to get started. Home care can seem easy to arrange, but home health care often targets a very specific need. Wound care, IV care, dietary assistance, and medication administration may be some of the things your dad needs. How do you make sure you get the best home care services possible for your dad?
Will Family Members be Helping?
If you live nearby, you may want to provide some of your dad’s care on your own. You may be limited on what you can do. While you could hand him his medications and watch him take them, you may not be comfortable or able to administer an insulin injection.
You need to look at the care your dad’s doctor says he needs at home and figure out a weekly schedule. Once that’s written out, call an agency to see if they can work with that schedule.
Make the Most of Medicare.Gov
Medicare.gov is one place to start. Use this site to compare Medicare-certified home health care agencies. With the search engine, you can narrow down the options in your dad’s area. Once you have a list of possible agencies, you want to start making calls and asking questions.
Ask These Questions
There are several questions your family needs to ask when arranging home health care.
First, make sure the agency offers the services your dad needs. If he needs help with IV medications at night, ask if the nurses are available at night. If the hours don’t match your needs, you may need to move on.
Second, see if the agency can meet your dad’s specific needs. If he’s insistent on having a male nurse, you should try to meet his request. While it shouldn’t matter, if the thought of having a female managing catheter care stresses him, do what you can to ensure he has a male nurse.
Third, ask what background checks and drug screenings are done. How often are they done? Are these background checks and drug screenings done randomly or does the staff get to schedule them?
Fourth, can the agency provide letters of recommendation from families and doctors who stand by their services? You’ll want to look them over. If possible, look online and read reviews, too.
Look for a home care agency that specializes in home health care. Medicare and your dad’s doctor will have recommendations to get you started. Take that list and start making calls and asking questions to make sure you find services that meet his needs and are Medicare-certified home health care agencies.