You and your family recognize you need help taking care of a loved one. And you know it’s important to start the process with some serious conversations. So, what questions should you ask? Here are 5 good discussions to have before deciding on home care services.
Questions to Ask Before Deciding on Home Care Services
What Type of Help Do We Need?
Keep in mind, there are different levels of home care services. For example, home health aides (HHAs) can assist with meal preparation, light housework, and companionship. On the other hand, if your loved one requires more involved medical care, you’ll probably need to hire a certified nursing assistant (CNA), licensed practical nurse (LPN), or even a registered nurse (RN). To find the best fit, write down a complete list of duties. Then, match your requirements to the right type of professional.
How Many Hours of Coverage Do We Need?
Similarly, you’ll want to identify how many hours the caregiver (or caregivers) will work. Some patients require constant supervision while others simply need a daily check-in. Therefore, coverage could range anywhere from a few hours per week to round-the-clock care.
Who Else Will Help?
Some people depend entirely on outside caregivers, while other split duties between professionals and family/friends. If you DO decide to share the responsibilities, always set a schedule (which includes a built-in backup plan). This prevents unfortunate situations where the bulk of the work falls on a single person. Additionally, in some states, Medicaid Consumer-Directed programs will pay family members who care for loved ones. This relieves some of the financial burdens, especially if an otherwise volunteer caregiver must take time off from work.
How Much Are We Willing/Able to Pay?
Home care services can add up quickly. If you don’t believe your loved one has the savings to cover the cost, be sure to explore other options. These may include Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance, Aid and Attendance benefit (for veterans), life insurance and reverse mortgage loans.
When Would We Discontinue or Reconsider Home Care Services?
Sometimes, the answer to this question is obvious. For example, if someone was just discharged from the hospital, you’ll have an estimated recovery time. In other cases, this is a challenging, but extremely important, discussion to have. Many people want to stay in their own homes no matter what. However, you could reach a point where in-home care is too expensive, too difficult or even too dangerous. Of course, you want to respect your loved one’s wishes. Nevertheless, you also need to identify a breaking point as well as to outline potential next steps. Although this may seem unpleasant at the time, it sets the stage for easier and less-stressful transitions in the future.
Are You Trying to Decide on Home Care Services?
Anodyne Services connects home care and healthcare professionals with families throughout Eastern Massachusetts. Our highly trained caregivers, HHAs, and CNAs are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us today and we’ll develop a care plan that works best for you!