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  • Writer's pictureAmy Kalajian

How to Get Home Health Care for Parents

Home health care encompasses a broad array of medical services provided in the comfort of your own home, aimed at treating various illnesses or injuries. It is generally more cost-effective, convenient, and equally beneficial compared to the care received in a hospital or a skilled nursing facility (SNF).


For example, our range of home health care services includes:

  • Professional nursing care

  • Physical therapy

  • Occupational therapy

  • Speech therapy


We recognize the challenges of managing your life while searching for the finest care for your parents or other elderly loved ones. To assist you, we put together this article to guide you on securing these essential services for your loved ones.


The Benefits of Home Health Care Services


Home health care offers a multitude of benefits for older adults who are recovering from injuries or dealing with acute or chronic health conditions, allowing them to remain in the comfort and familiarity of their own home. Key advantages include:


Independence


It enables seniors to maintain their daily routines such as walking, bathing, dressing, and meal preparation, providing independence for as long as possible.


Safety, Comfort, and Convenience


Studies indicate that recovery at home can be faster and with fewer complications compared to hospital stays. Also, patients getting care at home reported feeling less depressed and anxious than those who were treated in the hospital, although both groups showed no difference in their ability to function day-to-day.



Home health vs hospital care statistics


Relief for Family Caregivers


It offers substantial support to family caregivers by taking over daily care tasks and providing education on follow-up care, thereby reducing caregiver stress and burnout.


Cost Savings


By minimizing unnecessary hospital visits and potentially delaying the need for nursing home care, home health care can offer significant financial savings. These services are often covered by Medicare, Medicare Advantage payors, and private insurance for eligible patients. Among the 14 studies reviewed, home care proved to be cost-saving in seven instances, cost-effective in two, and more effective in one compared to hospital care. This evidence indicates that home care interventions are likely to save costs and be as effective as hospital-based care.

Grounded in evidence-based practices, home health care ensures patients receive timely and appropriate treatment within their home, maintaining high standards of care.


Personalized Care and Enhanced Companionship


Tailored care plans and one-on-one attention ensure treatments meet the individual needs of patients, enhancing the effectiveness of care and fostering trust between patients, caregivers, and the health care team.

A multidisciplinary team of nurses, therapists, social workers, and aides, overseen by a physician, offers a comprehensive range of services directly to patients at home, eliminating the need for external visits for care.

Home health care facilitates easier visits from friends and family without the restrictions of visiting hours, promoting social interaction and combating loneliness.


Who Needs Home Health Care? 


Home health care plays a crucial role across various patient needs, from post-surgery recovery, where it aids in wound care, medication management, and mobility, to managing chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease with personalized medication and dietary planning. It supports elderly individuals by assisting with daily activities, thus preserving their independence, while also providing palliative care to those with terminal illnesses, focusing on symptom management and comfort.

Supporting Physical and Emotional Well-being

Home health care not only addresses physical health needs but also supports emotional well-being. Being in a familiar and comfortable environment can significantly reduce stress and anxiety, which are crucial for recovery and overall health. Home health care providers also offer companionship, reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation among patients. For instance, a home health aide can provide social interaction to an elderly patient living alone, improving their emotional health.


How to Get Home Health Care for Your Parents in Los Angeles (250 words)


1. Evaluate Your Parents' Needs


To initiate the process of securing home health care for your parents, start with a thorough assessment of their needs to ascertain the specific type of care they require, which could range from skilled nursing and physical therapy to occupational therapy or basic daily living assistance. 

If you find yourself uncertain about the exact needs or the level of care required, it's advisable to seek advice from healthcare professionals or consult a geriatric care manager. These professionals can provide a detailed assessment, offering clarity on the services that would best benefit your parents' health and well-being.


2. Research Home Care Agencies


When looking for a home care agency for your parents, start by searching in your area. You can use tools like the Eldercare Locator and get recommendations from friends or doctors. Make sure to pick agencies that are licensed and have accreditation, such as from the Joint Commission. This shows they meet high standards of care, which is important for your parents' wellbeing.



3. Understand the Pros and Cons of Using an Agency


Choosing a home care agency comes with several benefits and some drawbacks. On the plus side, these agencies offer hassle-free management by handling all employment aspects such as screening, payroll, and taxes, making it easier for you. If your regular caregiver is unavailable, they provide backup care to ensure your needs are continuously met. The agencies have a diverse range of skilled caregivers to match your specific requirements, and there's a possibility that their services might be covered by Medicaid or private insurance, which can ease financial concerns. 

However, there are cons to consider as well. You may experience a rotation of caregivers, leading to a lack of consistency that can be unsettling. Also, agencies tend to be more expensive than hiring caregivers directly. 


4. Interview and Select an Agency


When considering a home care agency, it's important to ask detailed questions about how they match caregivers with clients, understand their billing practices, and request references to gauge their reliability.

Make sure to clearly communicate your parents' specific needs and preferences to the agency. 


5. Understand Coverage and Costs


Paying for home health care services involves several options to manage the costs. Many people use their savings, life insurance, or borrow from banks or family to pay out of pocket, enjoying benefits like quality care and flexibility. 

Another option is using insurance coverage, so it's important to check what your policy covers. 

Medicare can also help, especially for those over 65 or recovering from surgery, but you'll need to confirm your eligibility. 

Medi-Cal is available for those living in California with limited income and resources, and it even supports family members caring for loved ones. Each option has its own benefits and requirements, offering different ways to cover the costs of necessary home health care.

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