After spending several days in the hospital, your aging mother is finally coming home. Your elderly father is also being discharged from a rehabilitation facility after experiencing a fall. Both parents will require home health care to get them back on their feet. Because their home is in central Florida and you live in another state, finding a reliable home health care agency to look after your elderly parents isn’t going to be easy. Using these tips will help ensure they both receive the nurturing they deserve to promote a speedy recovery.
What is Home Health Care?
As opposed to non-medical, elective senior home care, home health care is medical care provided in a patient’s home. Home health care may include broad care delivered by licensed medical professionals, including skilled nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.
However, home health care can also include skilled non-medical care, such as medical social services or assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) from a qualified Home Health Aide. Typically covered by Medicare for a specified length of time, home health care is unique as a care setting not only because the care is provided in the home, but that the care itself is usually less expensive, more convenient, and equally effective to care provided in a hospital or skilled nursing facility.
How is Home Health Care Ordered?
A doctor usually orders home health care as part of an overall recovery care program following a hospital stay, surgery, or serious injury.
Older adults who might benefit from home health care include those who:
- Have recently been discharged from the hospital, a skilled nursing facility, or a rehabilitation center.
- Need monitoring after a recent medication change.
- Are in fragile health which prevents them from safely traveling to and from appointments.
- Are experiencing an overall decline in function and who might benefit from therapy to regain their independence.
Choosing the Right Home Health Care Agency in Central Florida
All patients, including your elderly parents, have the right to select their home healthcare provider. Getting the highest quality care hinges on your ability to choose the home healthcare company best suited to meet your parents’ specific needs.
Before making your decision, interview several providers and ask them about the following:
Medicare and Medicaid will only cover home healthcare costs for eligible patients if care is provided by a certified home healthcare agency. Certification lets you know that the home healthcare agency meets state and federal requirements for quality care. Ask the agencies on your list if they are certified by Medicare or Medicaid.
Reputation and History
A strong reputation and long history in a community like Central Florida can be important factors when choosing a home healthcare company. A personal recommendation from a friend, coworker, family member, or healthcare professional is a good place to start.
Along with any informal caregivers, your parents’ home healthcare team should include professionals with licenses and certifications specific to their field. Because team members will be caring for your parents in their home, be sure they have undergone thorough background checks and completed ongoing training.
Specialized In-Home Services
In addition to their normal range of services, some home healthcare providers offer specialty care programs for various medical conditions, including stroke recovery, heart failure, and COPD. If applicable, be sure the home healthcare agency you choose has the specialized services your parents need.
On Call 24/7/365
When choosing a home healthcare provider, find out if their staff members are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including nights, weekends, and holidays. Around-the-clock availability may help Mom or Dad avoid going to the hospital while improving access to care in an emergency.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) monitors and reports on the quality of home health agencies and posts their results at Care Compare. Quality scores of three and above can be a good sign you’re choosing an agency you can trust.
Patient Satisfaction Scores
CMS also measures and reports on the experiences of patients receiving home health care. These patient satisfaction star ratings are based on the Home Health Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HHCAHPS) Survey, which scores key care aspects such as communication, safety, and more. Choosing a home healthcare provider with high patient satisfaction scores should result in a more positive experience.
Accreditation by an industry-recognized body, such as the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC), the Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP), or the Joint Commission, indicates an agency’s commitment to rigorous standards of excellence and quality patient care. Although it is not required of home healthcare providers, accreditation allows an agency to demonstrate its commitment to pursuing and achieving exceptional patient care.
Personalized Care Plans
Using input from their doctors and other team members, your parents’ home healthcare plans should be customized to their specific needs and include a smooth transition from the hospital or rehab facility. A personalized care plan makes it more likely for Mom or Dad to get the right care from the right people at the right time.
Breakdown of Costs
Each home healthcare agency you are considering should be able to explain, in writing, what your parents’ insurance or Medicare will cover. They should also mention any anticipated out-of-pocket expenses upfront to minimize the likelihood of any costly surprises.
Your Trusted Home Healthcare Provider in Central Florida
When you need professional home health care, look no further than Quad Nurse in Central Florida. We are a fully licensed and insured provider with highly trained professionals who are experts at delivering the nurturing your loved one deserves. While serving as an extended family in your senior’s home, our compassionate caregivers can perform various duties, including Skilled Nursing Care, Private Duty Care, Personal Care, Dementia Care, Companionship Care, medication reminders, and even Live-In Care and 24-Hour Care.
While assisting clients in Marion County, our agency’s focus is maintaining your loved one’s quality of life, along with their dignity, self-esteem, and independence. For your added convenience, all our in-home services can be individually personalized into an affordable package when and where you need them! Please visit Quad Nurse online now to learn more about us or schedule a FREE initial consultation for a senior in our service area.