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Feeling At Home With Home Care:
Choosing The Right Provider

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Home care is a viable and often preferred alternative to long-term hospitalization or other institutionalized care. Home care may be recommended for patients with long-term health conditions, acute illness, permanent disability or terminal illness. In these cases, there are often a number of services available. The services of nurses, physical therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, dietitians, home health aides, homemakers, chore workers and companions are all usually available though the home care provider.

Your loved one's physician will help you decide what services she needs, but choosing the right home care provider takes some time and research.

The first step is to discuss the care recipient's home care needs with his physician, hospital discharge planner or case manager. Also, ask for a list of local, licensed home care agencies. If a list is not available, request one from the state's department of aging, health or social services.

The following should also be considered when choosing a home care agency:

Does the agency provide the services your loved one needs?

Does the agency provide continuity of care? Will the same professional Caregiver or team be involved for the duration of the care plan?

Are the care recipients and family Caregivers included when the agency develops or changes the care plan?

When is the agency accessible? Is someone available to assist you and your loved one to answer questions after hours or in an emergency?

Does the provider have a good reputation and positive track record? Ask for a list of references from local physicians, health care professionals, discharge planners, and former clients.

How long has the agency been in business, serving your community?

 

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