What Is Home Health Care Right For You?
Consider the following factors when determining whether home health care is right for you:
Can you be adequately treated at home?
- A treatment may involve risks of side effects that require more medical care than is available at home.
- Some medical treatments are so complex they might be better provided in a hospital or other medical facility.
Are there devices that permit necessary monitoring?
If your vital signs need to be checked, in addition to physical checks by nurses and health care aides, there are devices that will monitor vital signs and send the information to your doctor.
There are even sensors that can be placed in the most frequently used areas of the home. After creating an "electronic map" of a person's normal behavior -- the systems can send an alert if there is any change, for example, not getting out of bed in the morning. For an example of such a system, see www.quietcaresystems.com
If you live alone, consider subscribing to a personal emergency response system. You'll get a radio transmitter (a help button you carry or wear) and a console connected to the phone. You can summon help 24 hours a day. The cost of these devices may be covered by Long Term Care Insurance. To find providers, contact a social worker or SeniorCitizens .com www.seniorcitizens.com/k/eprs.html
Do you have the necessary caregivers available to help?
Home health care is seldom provided just by aides. Family, loved ones or other volunteers are generally required to take some role in providing home health care.
The extent of involvement will depend upon the patient's condition and the treatments and services that will be required.
Family caregivers should know exactly what their responsibilities would be, before determining if they are capable of providing care.
What does your doctor think?
Speak with your doctor if you think you may need home health services. He or she can help determine if home care is the right decision for you.
If it is determined that you are a good candidate, your doctor will actively be involved in the home health care process. Your doctor:
- Must provide written confirmation that you require home health care.
- Will help you determine the treatment and services you will require.
- Will periodically review your home care situation.
- Confirm the need for continued care when necessary.