Understanding How Home Health Care Works
“Deciding what long-term care option is best for a family member is a difficult and sometimes stressful decision,” says Dorothy Muffett, founder and president of Baywood Home Care. “People’s children often don’t give home care equal consideration with the options of assisted living or going into a care center, because they just can’t picture how it could or would really work. They think it is just temporary, or they worry about caregivers being a good fit, or about having too many different caregivers. But the truth is that home care can be wonderful with none of the negatives that people worry about.”
Muffett has dispelled some common myths about home care:
Myth #1: Home care is temporary until a person moves into assisted living or a nursing home. “Home care usually can be an indefinite, permanent option. We have 24-hour clients that have been our clients for more than 10 years, and many hourly clients who have been our clients for four, five or six years.
Myth #2: Nursing home-level care can’t be provided at home. “We can care for people with very complex needs including those who need total assistance with their daily needs. We have clients with complex medications, who need weekly INR checks, frequent blood sugar checks, etc. Many of our clients also have Medicare-covered services (from a Medicare home care agency) at home to supplement our care services; examples would be physical therapy, wound care, or hospice care.
Myth #3: Home care is too expensive. “Though individual situations vary, costs of the three long-term care options are generally comparable. And all can be paid for by long-term care insurance.”
Myth #4: Home care is too isolating. “Clients often end up having a better social life and more social interaction living at home than they would in assisted living. Though it is true that assisted living facilities have social activities, some people do not participate in or like organized group activities. At home, people can receive guests or family just as they always have. The neighbors can stop in just as they always have. Our caregivers can drive clients to lunch with friends, bingo at the community center, or family gatherings.”