How to Determine Care Needs & Where to Go from There

For many people, knowing when a loved one needs additional care and support can be difficult.

How do I determine if a loved one needs help?

Does your loved one have any underlying issues that might indicate the need for more care? While medical needs are probably at the forefront of your mind when answering that question, don’t forget to think about nutritional needs, social or psychosocial concerns, physical or mental impairments, issues performing activities of daily living. Download a handy checklist to see if your loved one might benefit from additional services.

I have identified a need, now what?

There are a number of services available to help. The first step is determining they level of care needed.

Non-Medical vs. Skilled Services

Non-medical home care provides assistance with personal care services such as dressing, grooming, eating, and other activities of daily living. This type of care is usually not covered by Medicare or private insurance; however it may be covered under certain types of long term care insurance.

Non-medical home care can provide transitional care for those leaving the hospital or nursing home that need assistance with their transition home, or it can be helpful for those who are being discharged from skilled home care and need assistance with transition back to their daily routine. Non-medical home care can supplement care for those receiving skilled care but whose day to day needs are higher than those services which are covered by Medicare. Non-medical care can also benefit people whose condition does not qualify them for skilled services but who may have a chronic illness, disease, or injury which requires increased day-to-day support due to physical or cognitive needs or medication changes.

Skilled Services provide patients with medical care in the home. Skilled care is provided by a licensed home health agency and must be “prescribed” by a physician. Most skilled services are covered by Medicare.

Types of Skilled Services

Skilled home health care helps patients remain at home while they recover from an illness or injury. This can include nursing, physical, occupational or other therapies, and medical social work support.

Palliative care is a form of home health care for patients facing chronic or quality of life limiting illnesses and is focused on relieving symptoms, pain, and stress. Palliative care can be provided alongside curative treatments and during any stage of an illness.

Hospice is for patients with a limited life expectancy who are no longer receiving curative treatments. Care is focused on managing symptoms and controlling pain as well as supporting patients and their families through the end of life.

Being a caregiver isn’t easy.  Navigating the maze of care options available can be stressful for both caregivers and patients. While many may know they need additional help, they may not know where to find it. Start by talking with your loved physician, call your local ADRC, or contact area home health agencies for guidance and support. With the levels of care available, there may be just the right amount of assistance out there for you and your loved one.

Home Health United offers Informational Visits to anyone interested in learning more about how our services can help. Request one today by calling 1-800-924-2273 or contact us now.