Making Sense Of Home Healthcare

Being a designated caretaker for an aging loved one can be a tremendous amount of responsibility. If you don't have the ability to provide full-time care yourself, you will likely consider whether or not a home healthcare professional can provide the supervision and care your loved one needs to remain living at home.

In order to determine if home healthcare is the right solution for your loved one, it's important to gather some information on the types of patients that are benefitting from home healthcare. Here are three patient characteristics to consider when trying to decide if you should invest in home healthcare in the future.

1. Many patients receiving home healthcare have daily limitations.

When evaluating whether or not your loved one will benefit from having a healthcare professional provide in-home care, it's important to know what types of daily limitations affect your loved one. Statistics show that limitations in daily activities (like eating, bathing, or dressing) increases with age.

Individuals greater than 75 years of age are most likely to require the help of another able-bodied person to complete daily tasks. If your loved one struggles with limitations to his or her daily activities, it's important to partner with a home healthcare agency that is equipped to provide assistance with these tasks.

2. Many patients receiving home healthcare have more than one medical condition.

If you are unsure whether or not your loved one can benefit from home healthcare because he or she has been diagnosed with more than one medical condition, it's important to realize that many patients receiving assistance in their homes fall into this category.

When interviewed for a research study, home healthcare patients had an average of 4.2 medical diagnoses at the time of the interview. This suggests that home healthcare agencies are equipped to deal with medical problems while helping your loved one remain at home. Be sure to partner with a home healthcare agency that has experience working with patients who have multiple conditions if your loved one has received more than one medical diagnosis.

3. Many patients receiving home healthcare are middle class.

Paying for a medical professional to assist your loved one in his or her home can be costly. It's important that you recognize there are many different ways to pay for home healthcare so that cost does not deter you from taking advantage of the benefits this type of care can provide.

Speak with your loved one's private insurance company (if they are covered) and ask about coverage. You can also take advantage of Medicare coverage if your loved one qualifies. Be sure to ask a representative about your payment options when choosing a home healthcare agency in the future.

Knowing the characteristics of home healthcare patients will help you determine if your loved one could benefit from this type of care.