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7 reasons to consider home care

Posted October 16, 2020 5:00 a.m. EDT

From senior adults who need help around the house to those managing chronic health conditions that severely limit their mobility, home care can be customized for a variety of needs. (Rido81/Big Stock Photo)

This article was written for our sponsor, Action Health Staffing.

From senior adults who need help around the house to those managing chronic health conditions that severely limit their mobility, home care can be customized for a variety of needs.

With in-home service providers like Action Health Staffing, clients can choose the services that are best-suited to them, whether it's 24-hour care, transitional services from hospital to home, or short-term help.

Whether searching for yourself or a loved one, here are seven reasons to consider home care.

1. Receive care in a familiar setting

While there's nothing wrong with the level of care provided in hospitals and nursing homes, unfamiliar environments can make uncomfortable conditions all the more stressful. By enlisting the aid of home caregivers, clients are able to stay in the space that's most comfortable to them, surrounded by familiarity, friends, and family.

"As far as long term services and support, the majority of people want to live in their homes and their communities — they're able to stay in their neighborhood where they already have those connections and support," said Kathie Smith, a registered nurse and the vice president of the Home Care and State Relations Association of Home and Hospice Care of North Carolina. "It also gives you more autonomy and control, because you're in your own home, so you can take into account your specific likes and dislikes."

Before reaching out to a home care service provider, clients should do their homework. A few questions to keep in mind when asking about services include:

  • Is the company licensed by the state?
  • Are employees screened? What type of training and education is each employee required to have?
  • How often do you evaluate your employees?
  • What payment options are available? Are there any financial aid resources?
  • Am I able to customize my plan and choose a caregiver?
  • What services are available and when?
  • What's the plan in case of emergency?

For those considering in-home care, it's important to carefully research all options and come prepared with a set of questions.

2. Person-centered care

In a hospital setting, patients typically cycle through different care providers with not much say as to who they'd prefer. When working with a company like Action Health Staffing, clients can communicate with the company to choose a care provider that works best for their needs, then stick with that care worker for whatever amount of time they choose.

"The agency you work with certainly should be a partner with you in letting you help maintain some control and comfort, like through the choice of who you prefer or would want to be in your home and providing care," said Smith. "Having one-to-one care when you're in your home, you've got your care partner or your care provider, and you're the one person they're providing the care for at that moment. That one-to-one, personalized tenure is a huge support."

With a unique person-centered care model, clients are able to develop meaningful relationships with care providers.

"Most of the clients that we service have been with us for multiple years, and they have become like part of our family. Being their one-on-one care providers, we really get to know the individual and give a sense of stability and continuity," said Kim Hill, president of Action Health Staffing. "That individualized attention given by someone who knows them helps the home care experience shine in so many facets."

3. Decreased risks

Especially in the midst of COVID-19, being in a hospital setting introduces a myriad of new risks. Individuals will often see nurses and doctors who have seen multiple other patients with a variety of health issues, increasing the chances of exposure to germs and infections.

When clients have the choice to limit their contact to one provide, that helps to offer clients peace of mind.

"Not being in a facility setting, there's a decreased risk for infections acquired from an institution or health care facility. Clients have more control over who's entering their environment," said Smith. "That decrease in exposure is able to hopefully keep you safer in your environment."

In addition to a decreased risk of germ contact, clients can also continue to live their lives normally, seeing friends and family without any limitations on hours or who's allowed in.

"Our clients' morale is quite heightened in their home, and I think it's because they have their friends and family surrounding them. In these trying times, especially now, I've seen a lot of people that are in facility settings, and they're not allowed to have visitors, so they're feeling much more secluded and isolated," said Hill. "If individuals choose to utilize a home care agency, they are getting professionally trained staff who are thoroughly screened and consistently monitored."

4. Cost-effective

It's no secret hospital bills can quickly add up. By utilizing home care, clients are able to save in some of the most expensive areas, while still receiving a high level of care.

"There may be a family caregiver who can provide care, but they need assistance because they're also working outside of the home or struggling to balance it with their personal life. Whoever the personal caregiver is can give that extra help they need, which can certainly go a long way," said Smith. "For the most part, it's a cost-effective solution. If you're in your own home, you avoid spending the funds that would've been absorbed with institutional care for things like room and board and food. You've already got that at home, you just need a little extra support."

The Action Health staff also emphasizes customization for each patient, whether that means a visit on every other day or 24-hour service.

5. Variety of services

Each client has different needs, so no one care routine will look the same as another. Each caregiver is trained and specializes in a variety of services, which helps decrease the number of people coming in and out of the home. Clients are able to receive all the care they need — whether it's simply socialization or hands-help with activities of daily living — all from a single professional.

"You may need someone to provide more of a companionship service or someone to help you provide transportation, meal preparation, medication reminders, socialization — or maybe you need someone that helps provide actual hands-on personal care services, like getting in and out of the bathroom and shower, getting dressed, things like that," said Smith. "Maybe you actually need a nurse to come in the home or something like physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, or hospice care. There's a variety of services that can be provided in the home, depending on the need."

Since each caregiver provides a wide umbrella of services, they're able to develop strong relationships with each client, further personalizing the care experience — even if it's as simple as helping with chores around the house.

6. Payment options

Not all in-home services offer the same payment options, but Action Health has a variety to choose from. For those who are able, paying privately is always an option, but for many, there are state or federal resources, as well as extra help from insurance providers.

For those who are curious about what payment options are available to them, it's best to directly contact the home care service provider that you're interested in using or consult a primary care advisor for referrals.

7. Maintain independence

Individuals want their loved ones to remain independent for as long as possible. While that's not always possible, home care can help clients live in their own home for as long as possible, thriving in their comfort zone.

"Most of the individuals that we service still have a certain degree of independence. When you're looking at home care, it offers an individual greater involvement with their treatment and more direct, one-on-one, hands-on care," said Hill. "In familiar surroundings and around family and friends — people are really able to thrive. I've always been a very firm advocate that as long as you can maintain your independence safely in your home, that is one of the best care options available."

This article was written for our sponsor, Action Health Staffing.

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