You need to know what you can expect from a home care agency if you need to supplement your home health plan. Home health agencies provide varying levels of support based on your health needs and the guidance of your primary medical provider.
Learn more about what to expect from a home care agency and the key things to understand about these helpful services.
1. The Process Starts with an Assessment and Care Plan
Your chosen home care agency needs to assess your needs and communicate with your primary medical provider about your specific medical concerns. The agency uses the assessment and directives from your doctor to formulate a care plan.
You can communicate your goals and make a list of the responsibilities you would like to include in the plan. Take time on your first visit with the home care agency to share your concerns. We’ve compiled a list of suggested topics and personal information to discuss during your initial visit:
- Responsibilities and chores for the home
- Light housekeeping (dishes, laundry, etc.)
- Running errands (grocery shopping, picking up medications)
- Meal preparation and dietary advice
- Your preferred schedule
- Medication times
- Meal times
- Sleep schedule
- Emergency contacts
- Medical providers
- Family and friends
- Off-limit areas around the home
- Personal care needs
- Assistance with bathing and dressing
- Booking appointments
Feel free to openly discuss your situation and goals to ensure that your home care agency meets your needs. After this discussion, your caregivers begin implementing the care plan.
2. Understand the Different Types of Caregivers
The care agency assigns one or more caregivers to your case. Each home care agency has a variety of staff with specialized skills and training to attend to your health needs. The most common types of caregivers include:
- Personal care aides
- Home health aides
- Registered nurses
- Physical therapists
- Occupational therapists
- Speech-language pathologists
- Medical social workers
Your care plan and health goals lead the agency to assign specific caregivers to attend to your needs. You may need one or more of the above specialists to make the most of your time with the home care agency.
3. You May Need to Make Changes to Your Home
You should know that working with a home care agency for seniors means that some changes need to occur within your home. One potential change may include installing a key box near your front door. The key box allows your caregivers to access a door key by entering a code for security purposes.
Some elderly patients may also require installing various helpful tools that help with mobility and more. These tools can include but aren’t limited to:
- Shower or bath handles
- Special toilet seats or mobile toilet systems
- Hoist or lift
- Lift chair
- Other helpful health aids at the discretion of your care team
Your caregivers discuss which tools are most useful in your case and how they will contribute to your care. Insurance often covers the majority of the costs for the items your team decides you need the most. However, some tools may require out-of-pocket payment.
These items may take up considerable space in your home, which can require moving furniture around to accommodate your health tools. Communicate any concerns about these changes with your home care agency.
4. Expect Increased Traffic In and Around Your Home
In-home care allows seniors to stay in the comfort of their homes while working toward their health goals. Staying home means that your caregivers have to come to you, so you should expect one or more individuals to come to your home to provide health assistance regularly.
You can still maintain your privacy by clearly communicating your schedule and preferences at your first visit. Home care providers develop a schedule and share it with you to help you prepare for each visit. You will also be notified in advance by your home care agency if they plan to send new caregivers.
Some clients love the change of pace, while others may have difficulties adjusting to more people in their homes. Remember that your caregivers are there to help maintain and improve your health while providing pleasant company and companionship.
Depending on your needs, your case may require a live-in caregiver. A live-in caregiver means that you need to set a room aside for the caregiver to sleep. You should also make space for them in areas of your home, including the fridge, closets, and bathroom, to store their food, clothing, and personal items.
5. Agencies Provide Better Organization
Agencies that provide care at home rely on extensive notes and communications. These notes and other paperwork are often kept in a binder or notebook that every caregiver can access. The agency uses these notes to track progress, communicate concerns, and check off daily or weekly tasks.
Professional personal caregivers from a home care agency often require an area to store disposable gloves, sanitizers, and other care tools. It is also common for caregivers to use a lockbox to store your medication safely in your home.
Your caregivers may also keep walkways free from clutter or debris to ensure the safety of everyone in the house. Caregivers might need to clean an area to use as a workspace for your health goals. You can discuss any concerns about these changes and your preferences with your caregiving team.
Crystal Home Care
You deserve a home care agency that you can trust. At Crystal Home Care, our team of highly trained home health specialists sets a high standard for in-home care. We value the safety, comfort, and health of our clients every day.
The Crystal Home Care team proudly serves the Chicagoland area.
Are you interested in learning more about how a home care agency can help improve your quality of life? Our professional care team is ready to help address your concerns and alleviate stress for your family. Call Crystal Home Care at (708) 535-4300 for a free consultation to discuss your home health needs today.