Finding Out About Home Health Care

Home health care in Illinois includes nursing care and other care services such as occupational and physical therapy, speech therapy and medical social services. A home health team provides – and assists with coordination – the care and therapy ordered by the doctor. While receiving home health care, home health care providers teach you (and those who care for you) how to provide home care. Since most home health care is short term, part-time patients must learn to identify and care for possible problems. The goal of home health care is to help you feel better, to regain your independence of action and to be as self-sufficient as possible.

Choosing a home health care agency can be quite stressful for you and the people you love. It is a good idea to plan ahead, consider all long-term healthcare options and make solid financial plans soon. By planning ahead, you and your loved ones have more control over your future and you can ensure that your need for high quality care is satisfied. All available long-term care options such as home care, assisted living, community services and nursing homes need to be considered. If you are helping another person choose home-based health care in Illinois, you should be sure to include the person you are helping with in the decision-making process. You must always make decisions keeping in mind the needs and personal preferences of that person. Some agencies that can help you answer your questions include the Aging Administration, which is a federal agency that can provide you with a list of long-term care choices in your community. The Medicare and Medicaid Service Centers have free brochures explaining Medicare coverage, as well as lists of authorized home care providers in your area. Eldercare Locater is a service that helps seniors and their caregivers find local services.

You should have a checklist ready to ask questions to be asked to potential home health agencies. These include: if the agency is Medicare certified; if it offers the particular services you need (nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc.); if the agency is able to meet any special needs you have, such as cultural or linguistic preferences; if the agency offers personal care services necessary as an aid in using the bathroom, the bathroom and dressing; if the agency offers the necessary support services – or can organize services – as an aid to cooking, shopping, doing laundry or cleaning; if the agency has staff available to provide the hours and the type of care that the doctor has ordered; if the agency has staff and nights available in case of emergency? Additional questions that should be asked are how much Medicare and insurance will cover and what additional amounts you have to pay. If the agency checks the backgrounds of its staff members and even if the agency will provide references from satisfied customers. You can find a home-based health agency in your area that has been approved by Medicare on their website, by asking your doctor, friends or family, or by consulting the Yellow Pages under health care at home in Illinois.


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