Your Guide on How to Get Home Health Care for Parents
Children grow up, parents get older; it’s all part of life. But what happens when your parents can’t care for themselves any longer or need extra help around the house?
Many elderly parents want to age in place at home and remain independent for as long as possible. It can be challenging to see the signs that your aging parents may need more support than they let on.
Figuring out the following steps doesn’t need to be challenging because we’ve created a guide on signs that your parents may need home care and how to get home health care for parents.
Signs Your Aging Parents May Need Home Care
Figuring out when and how often your aging parents might need home care can take time and effort. But bringing on extra help isn’t as scary as you might think. The extra help may be the relief you never knew you, your parents, and other family members needed.
When you visit your aging parents, stay on guard for early signs of declining health or changes. A few signs could signify that your aging parents could benefit from home healthcare services.
1) They Were Recently Diagnosed With an Illness
If your parents were recently diagnosed with an illness, it might be time to get extra in-home health care to assist with medication management and manage symptoms.
A licensed and trained home health aide or nurse from home health agencies like Nurse Next Door can provide skilled home health care targeted towards various health conditions. Conditions often managed with home health care include:
- Post-surgery and wound care
- Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
- Parkinson’s disease
- Progressive neurological conditions
- Heart conditions
- COPD and other respiratory conditions
2) They Are in and Out of Hospitals
When parents are frequently in and out of hospitals, it may be a sign that they need constant care at home to avoid frequent hospitalizations. Caregiver support services can limit hospitalization by providing specialized care and transportation services in case a trip to the hospital is required.
3) They Rarely Leave the House
When your aging parents only leave the house for necessities like medical appointments, or specific events, it might be time to get extra help. A home health agency can offer a range of services, including companionship so that your parents can feel less isolated at home and get into the community more often.
4) They Need Help Maintaining Household Chores
If you’ve recently visited your aging parents at home and have noticed things are out of sorts and not the same, it might be time to get additional support around the house.
As we age, eventually, our bodies cannot keep up with our daily routines and tasks, including housekeeping. Your parents might be too tired, or it may be too difficult to maintain the home. Many home health agencies have housekeeping and meal preparation services that could provide relief to your elderly parents.
5) They Forget to Take Their Medication
Have you noticed your parents skipping days or forgetting to take their medications at the appropriate time? Do they have an organizational method for their medications?
Forgetting or taking too much medication can seriously affect a person’s health and cause complications down the road. The National Center for Health Statistics investigation reported that “approximately a third of persons over the age 60 was on five prescription medications or more,” and many do not take their medications properly. Having a home health aide or someone to help manage medications might be the best solution to staying on track and safe regarding medicine.
6) They Frequently Fall or Injure Themselves
Falling or holding on to furniture to maintain balance indicates that your parents need additional support at home. Understandably, the natural response to falling or injury is to move less. But moving less can make it more difficult for your older adults to do daily activities and will eventually increase the risk of injury and falls.
Safety is key to ensuring their well-being and your peace of mind. A home caregiver will be able to assist them with safety around the home and with walking and transferring.
Options to Pay for Home Health Services
Costs can be a significant factor when hiring in-home help. Luckily, there are various services and options to help you pay for home health services.
1) Paying Out of Pocket
Many people pay for home health services out of pocket from savings, life insurance policies, annuities, investments, or borrow from a line of credit, banks, family, or friends. Usually, clients who opt to pay for in-home care have already reached their limit with publicly funded care and exhausted their options. Many individuals seeking home care go with private pay as there are some significant benefits, including:
- Access to high-quality care
- Flexibility of care
- Around-the-clock care and companionship
For more information on senior home care costs, click here.
2) Insurance Coverage
Insurance is a great way to subsidize the cost of home healthcare services. Insurance varies based on the individual’s plan. Check your health insurance coverage to ensure you are eligible to cover the cost of home health care services.
Medicare is another option to help support the financial burden of home healthcare services.
“Medicare is a single-payer national health insurance program that began in 1966. Funding for this program comes from payroll taxes, premiums and surtaxes from beneficiaries, and general federal revenue. It primarily provides health insurance to Americans aged 65 and older who have paid into the Social Security system through payroll taxes.” 
Many older adults who need supportive care while recovering from surgery or those who were recently hospitalized, or had a change in health status, may be eligible for home health care through Medicare. Check your eligibility on the Medicare website.
“Medicaid, on the other hand, is a joint federal and state program that provides healthcare coverage for patients with limited income and resources. It is the largest source of funding for medical and health-related services for people with low income in the United States.
It is jointly funded by the state and federal governments and managed by individual states, which determine eligibility. Recipients must be US citizens or legal permanent residents and may include low-income adults, their children, and people with certain disabilities. Poverty alone does not necessarily qualify a person for Medicaid.” 
Medicaid is the most common payment source for family members caring for their loved ones. A family member who is the primary care provider may be eligible for funding to help care for mom or dad. Family members caring for those living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia may be especially eligible for Medicaid.
Medicaid has stringent program eligibility requirements, but it is an excellent option for those who meet the criteria.
What Are the Home Health Care Options?
Family members are usually the ones to jump in and support when they can. But there may be better solutions than relying solely on family members as the primary care provider if they juggle caregiving duties with their own children, life, jobs, etc. Many home health care options could help support mom or dad and give adult children peace of mind.
1) Assisted Living
Assisted living is a supportive living environment for seniors. This residence encompasses personal care services and offers supportive care to those experiencing physical and functional health difficulties. Many people in assisted living residences make decisions independently but still require a supportive environment when needed.
2) Community-Based Services
Several community-based services are designed for older adults to help them remain at home and independent. Services can range from:
- Meal deliveries
- Transportation services
- Personal care
- Community-based programs (social, recreational, and health-related services in congregate settings).
Community-based programs help seniors remain independent, active, social, engaged, and involved.
According to the National Library of Medicine, “Community-based supports and services are designed to help community-dwelling older adults remain safely in their homes and delay or prevent institutionalization. A recent nationwide survey found that a substantial majority were very interested in receiving information about community-based support services. However, respondents often did not know the range of services provided or where (or how) to access them.” .
The best way to access information on community-based support services is by discussing it with your primary physician or phone agencies like Nurse Next Door to help guide you in the right direction.
3) Private Home Care
Private home care is another home health care option that can benefit many individuals needing routine care. A private caregiver is great for individuals with chronic health conditions or illnesses.
Home care hired privately by family members is done on their own accord. Hiring privately can be limiting as family members might not have access to many types of caregivers or can’t conduct background checks. On the other hand, Agencies are bonded and insured and can conduct thorough background checks on all contractors and caregivers.
4) Home Care Agency
There are many great benefits to home care agencies, including high standards of care, scheduling flexibilities, frequency of care, and range of services.
A home health agency can offer tailored care plans to fit an individual’s needs and wishes. Agencies like Nurse Next Door have the infrastructure to provide exceeding customer service to ensure clients’ needs are met promptly. Our Care Team can answer inquiries directly via the phone, offer kind support advice, and address concerns.
Nurse Next Door’s Care Team can also match you with the perfect caregiver to suit your needs and wishes.
Get Started with Nurse Next Door and visit our senior home care services here or call 1-877-588-8609 today!
What clients are saying about Nurse Next Door:
“Excellent caring staff. I would recommend this service to anyone looking for high quality care for their loved ones.” – Lisa Sombach
“Nurse Next Door is a great company with great staff. They go above and beyond!” – Roy Biv