As our parents get older, we must make tough decisions regarding their health care. It can be hard to know when to bring in professional support in the form of home care. Consider the following as you decide whether your aging parents need home care.
What Is Home Care?
Home care is professional, supportive care offered to seniors in their homes. Home care is intended to allow older adults to stay in their homes for longer as they age, as opposed to having to move to a nursing home or other facility. Home care is typically focused on personal and medical care or temporary help with daily tasks, versus long-term care for severe illnesses.
Do My Parents Need Home Care?
As you decide the right time to get your parent home care, consider their overall needs. For example, if your parent cannot prepare a meal for themselves, they may benefit from a professional coming in to handle some of their daily tasks.
Other examples of signs that your parent needs assistance include:
- Your parents' mental status has changed. If you notice that they are having a hard time remembering things like the names of family members, their addresses, or other information that should be easily recalled, it may be time to take the next step and secure home care for them.
- They cannot care for themselves properly. If they do not know how or remember to take their medication, for example, you may need someone to remind them to take their medication promptly. This also goes for cooking themselves meals and tending to their personal hygiene.
- Your parents are at risk of falling. If your parents have unexplained bruises or show other signs of physical distress, a home care provider may give you peace of mind that your parents are not alone if they have an emergency.
You may find this needs assessment worksheet from the National Caregiver Library helpful in assessing the level of care your loved one may need.
Do Medicare or Medicaid Cover Home Care?
While Medicaid varies by state, Medicare covers certain home care services if patients meet the following requirements:
- The patient is homebound, and their treating physician certifies they are homebound.
- The patient needs occupational therapy, speech, or physical therapy services.
- The patient needs the services of professional nurses.
- The patient is under a doctor's care and regularly gets check-ups for their condition.
Choose a Home Care Plan Today
We all want to protect our parents as they age. Home care services can be the best way to protect your family and provide them with the safety they deserve. Consider consulting with an elder law attorney in your area if you need more information on securing home care.