Home Care Services
What is Home Care?
Home Care encompasses a broad range of health, social and general assistance services that are provided to seniors in their own home. Services include:
- Meal preparation
- Medicine reminders
- Errands & Shopping
- Incidental transportation
- Medical or therapeutic treatment
Who Provides Home Care?
Home care providers vary by specialty and services. Some examples include:
- Homemaker and Home Care Aide Agencies—Flexible assistance with household chores and duties.
- Home Health Agencies—Medicare certified skilled care.
- Staffing and Private-duty Agencies—Nursing and other services.
- Registries—Staffing agencies for nurses and aides.
- Independent Providers—Solo practitioners.
- Pharmaceutical and Infusion Therapy Companies—Specialize in drug delivery and equipment.
- Medical Equipment & Supply Companies—Delivery, installation and training of medical equipment.
- Hospice—Home care for the terminally ill.
Choosing a Home Care Provider: Questions to Ask
- How long has this provider been serving the community?
- What services are provided?
- What are the eligibility requirements, fees, and funding sources?
- How does the provider select and train its employees? Are they licensed?
- Is the provider insured?
- Is the aide covered by workers compensation? (Homeowners Insurance may not cover them.)
- Is the aide bondable and/or have they passed a criminal background check?
- Is the provider a certified home health agency?
- Who evaluates or determines care requirements?
- Is there a written plan detailing the care to be delivered? How are ongoing records kept?
- What supervision is provided of the individual care providers?
- How do they handle complaints?
- What are the emergency procedures? Is care available 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
- How does the provider ensure patient confidentiality?
- Can they supply references to talk to? Ask for a variety of references (patients, family members, doctors, discharge planners, community members). Questions for references:
- What feedback have you received regarding this provider?
- How frequently do you refer patients to this provider?
- Do you have a contract with this provider? If so, what is the standard of care?
- Can you put me in touch with patients treated by this provider who have similar cases to mine?
- National Association for Home Care www.nahc.org
- The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization www.nhpco.org
- Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Home Health Agency Guide
- Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Search by city for Colorado home care providers
- National Private Duty Association www.privatedutyhomecare.org