5 Tips for Choosing the Best Home Care for a Loved One

5 Tips for Choosing the Best Home Care for a Loved One

It’s not usually an easy time in life when you need to find home health care for a loved one. And with so many different options available in your area, the decision can be overwhelming, both logistically and emotionally. Whether those needs include day-to-day help with personal tasks, a skilled medical professional to administer medication and therapy or you’ve reached the conclusion that hospice is the best care for your loved one, these tips can help make choosing the best at-home care option a stress-free part of the process.

Know You’re Not Alone | This decision is overwhelming, and it’s okay to recognize that. Not only is the need to find home health care for a loved one a difficult time of life, but to be responsible for finding the best option for your loved one carries a heavy burden. With so many choices available, it's important to know that a network of support exists to help you through it. Take a deep breath. This is the first step toward meeting the needs of any patient and their successful journey.

Know What You Need | It’s important to know the type of care that your loved one requires. Help maintaining a safe and independent lifestyle at home may require non-medical services such as help with personal hygiene, errand running, meal preparation and more. Other patients require skilled nursing to manage their specific disease at home. Or it may be a situation where hospice is needed. Not all home health care agencies can offer this spectrum of services, so you want to make sure your needs match up what they can provide.

Get to Know the Agency | More important than the type of care you need from a home health agency is knowing the philosophy behind each company. Are they focused on the patient first? Will they work with your doctors on treatment plans? You should also ask questions about the specific services within their levels of care to get to the root of exactly what they offer to ensure you’ll be getting what you expect and need.

Know Your Timeline | Often, home health care is something a patient requires for only a short period of time, while in other cases it can be the beginning of a long road toward recovery. It’s important to know the timeframe and duration of care that your loved one needs to meet his or her goals. Presenting this up front ensures that the agency you are considering has the resources to accommodate those needs. For example, if you need a skilled nurse to be at your home within 24 to 48 hours, does the agency have the manpower and ability to accommodate that?

Know Your Insurance | Having your insurance coverage on hand when you visit with agencies will help determine what services will or won’t be covered to better prepare you and your family for the financial commitment that will follow. A good agency will help address any questions you have about your coverage with a simple call.

Whether the beginning of a journey toward independence and a better quality of life or helping a patient cope at the end of his or her life, enlisting home health care is not a simple decision. With these simple steps at the forefront of your decision-making process, you’ll be able to make an informed decision that facilitates the best possible treatment plan for your loved one.