Many of those who may benefit from home health care don’t utilize it because of commonly believed misconceptions. After 35 years in business, our Just Like Family staff members have heard many of the myths surrounding home health care and we would like to provide some clarification for those who are new to home health care.
Myth: Home care is only for those who are very sick.
Truth: Non-medical home care is available to those who are just looking for a little extra help around the house, assistance running errands, transportation to medical appointments, or even just companionship. Non-medical care also includes assistance with the activities of daily living, or ADLs. These activities include, but are not limited to, assistance with bathing, dressing, providing medication reminders, and helping with other day-to-day tasks as needed.
Myth: The quality of care we would receive through an agency is inferior to that which we could get from a facility.
Truth: Home health care agencies are licensed by the state of Pennsylvania and must operate in compliance with the standards set forth by the state. This means that all aides must have training before being assigned to care for individuals, even those requiring non-medical care. In addition, skilled nursing care is available through most home health care agencies, allowing those who wish to stay in their home the opportunity to receive one-on-one care from a licensed, healthcare professional. In many cases, staying in one’s home with the assistance of trained home care personnel is more beneficial than placing an individual in a facility. If you are concerned about the level of care a home health care agency can provide to you in the home, contact us and we will be happy to discuss any questions you may have.
Myth: Home care is expensive and only wealthy people can afford it.
Truth: Depending on the level of care and how many hours a week you would like to receive in-home care, it can be more affordable than a nursing home or assisted living facility. There are many programs available to those who are interested in receiving in-home care. These programs include VA Benefits, long-term care insurance, and assistance through the local Area Agency on Aging.
Myth: If I am providing the care for my loved one, there is no need for additional help.
Truth: It should come as no surprise that we all need a break from time to time. When caring for your loved one, this often turns into a 24/7 job leaving the primary caregiver both emotionally and physically exhausted. Every caregiver needs to have periods of relief so that they have time to recharge and take care of themselves. A home care agency is the perfect choice when needing someone to provide respite care.
Myth: My loved one needs around-the-clock care so home health care isn’t an option.
Truth: Many home care agencies do provide around-the-clock care. After assessing your unique situation, a home care agency will put together an experienced team, working in shifts, to provide care to your loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Myth: If I am not 65 or older, home health care isn’t for me.
Truth: While it is true that a majority of those who receive home health care services are 65 or older, home health care agencies can assist anyone over the age of 18 who may have a disability, chronic illness, or those recovering from an injury or recent surgery.
Myth: If I am utilizing other care options, such as a hospital or nursing home, then there is no need to employ a home care agency.
Truth: Home care agencies are often requested to supplement care provided by hospitals and nursing homes. A good home care agency will work closely with all those involved in your care, including doctors, social workers, and hospice staff, to insure you are receiving the highest quality of care possible.
Myth: I will have no say as to who comes to my home and provides my care.
Truth: Home care agencies that are interested in providing you with the best care possible will always value input from clients and their family. Looking at a client’s personality and care requirements gives the agency a starting point when looking to match a caregiver with the client, but feedback from the client as to who they feel comfortable with is always taken into account when selecting the aides who will provide their care.
Myth: Home care workers steal from the elderly and/or abuse them.
Truth: There is no denying that there are instances where this happens and, unfortunately, it gives a bad name to the caring and honest caregivers. This is why it is so important to choose an agency that you feel comfortable with. Hiring independent caregivers may seem like the best option financially, but it is certainly not the safest. A reputable home health care agency can provide you with the assurance that each aide has undergone a background and reference check, drug-screening, and is licensed and bonded through the company while performing services in your home.