Home Care Mistakes

Home Care Mistakes result in frustration and stress, or worse. They can occur during an already difficult medical/health situation. An unsatisfied experience is often preventable. home care aide and elderly womanPeople seek out help at home when they are either post-surgery, undergoing an illness, are a primary caregiver, or have a long term, degenerative disease ( i.e. Alzheimer’s Parkinson, Stroke, Cancer). Many home care mistakes occur because not enough information is given, or requested.

Errors to Avoid

Because in-home care improves safety, hygiene, nutrition, medication compliance, social loneliness, transportation among other things, the sooner help is obtained the better the outcome.

Typical errors people make include:

~Private duty home care is NOT covered by Medicare. Medicare home health is medical in nature.

~Waiting too long to get help. When you need help, you need help. It is hard having a stranger help you but waiting serves no positive purpose.

~Focusing on price rather than quality. Price is important, affordability is a reality. But, the lower cost, often leads to a lower level of care.

~Misunderstanding which duties and responsibilities are included and which are not. Light housekeeping is not a maid service.

~Knowing the right schedule to meet the needs. After hip surgery for example you will likely need a few weeks of assistance but the schedule will likely change during the course of care.

~Skipping important information for the company and caregiver.  An experienced company knows what information to ask for. A thorough Intake can take a half-hour or longer. Medical history is included along with presenting needs.

What makes a good match? The right match makes or breaks the experience. It usually comes down to expectations and personality traits.

~Seeking private help rather than from a licensed company. You are on your own, no back-up, no oversight, no team working with you.

~Failure to coordinate well with other services.  This is particularly evident when discharging home or too many people are creating plans.

~Unfamiliarity with their Long Term Care Policy. Like other insurance, the company will evaluate your claim. They have certain “need” criteria to trigger coverage and many policies have an “elimination period” which means out of pocket expenses.

Choose Wisely

In South Florida, there are hundreds of licensed companies to choose from. Ask friends for referrals and call a couple of companies to see how they work. Ideally, they will make you feel comfortable and give you the sense that they are experienced. In private to duty home care, you the client are the boss. Read their websites. Do they do too many things besides home care? Are you locked into anything? Are they a franchise? How do they manage with insurance? Are they overselling or assessing the current needs and acting accordingly? How do they manage after-hour calls? What are their Covid-19 precautions? These are just some of the things to consider.  So, the right match is magic and helps to heal faster, and long term relationships in home care gives everyone greater comfort.