What is Homecare?

June 6th, 2011 by @lamberts

What is Homecare?Every day people come into our store after they’ve been thrust into a situation where someone they love needs help.  They are lost, overwhelmed, and completely unaware of what is available to assist them.  It’s a daunting task to feel like you have to become an expert overnight.  Here’s a basic breakdown of the different areas of homecare and how each one is utilized:

Home Health Agencies

These agencies provide intermittent “skilled” care by nurses, physical/speech/occupational therapists, and other trained professionals upon a physician’s orders .  Often referred to as “Home Health Care”, they provide clinical services in the home such as skilled nursing and therapeutic services.   The majority of their services are paid for by Medicare and Medicaid.

Private Duty is a particular type of homecare that provides home care aides, companion care, homemaker services, and nursing services.   Since they are not paid by Medicare, the consumer decides what services are needed and for what length of time it should be provided.  Often, Private Duty services are paid either out of pocket or by long-term care insurance.   Private Duty is particularly helpful for those looking for a long-term solution like a live-in.

Personal Support Service Agencies

These agencies provide “non-skilled” care in the home.  Each employee goes through a background check and receives training prior to going into the field.  Personal Support Service Agencies (PSSAs) provide services such as grooming and self-care, homemaker services, personal assistance (like transportation), or educational services.  Though they cannot assist with medication administration in Tennessee, they do offer medication reminders for clients.  Some may qualify for government assistance through the CHOICES program, but many people pay out-of-pocket for this.

Home Medical Equipment Companies

These companies (also known as “HME” or “DME” for Durable Medical Equipment) provide supplies and durable medical equipment in the home.  Their scope may include respiratory therapy, oxygen therapy, mobility equipment such as wheelchairs and walkers, daily living aides, bathroom safety items, and more.  Some HME companies (like Lambert’s) have respiratory therapists and certified mobility technicians on staff to coordinate with the physician to ensure the patient is properly fitted for the prescribed services.  HME companies often work with home health agencies and hospital discharge planners as well to provide a seamless continuum of care for the recipient.  All HME companies are accredited, and those in Tennessee also are licensed by the state.

Hospice

Hospices provide a type of care and philosophy that focuses on the palliation of a terminally ill patient’s symptoms and provides assistance for the family as they go through bereavement.  Unlike other types of care who treat the symptoms, hospice focuses more on pain management, emotional and spiritual support, and end-of-life preparation.  It is generally provided during the last 6 months of life.

Informal Caregivers

Informal Caregivers are individuals who provide unpaid care for another person, typically a friend or family member.  They are the lifeblood of homecare today, and there are currently over 65 million Americans providing this type of care for another.  According to the National Family Caregivers Association, these caregivers provide an estimated $375 billion of free care each year.  In Tennessee alone, nearly 600,000 informal caregivers are estimated to give 634 million hours of free care each year.  Many of you readers provide this type of care for someone, though you may not have known what it was called.

Homecare enables people to remain in their homes, connected to the community, with their family and loved ones, and maintain a higher level of independence. Countless studies point to homecare as a viable alternative to nursing homes and institutional care for its cost effectiveness, better recovery rate, overwhelming preference by those receiving care.  It is a part of the solution to our nation’s health care crisis, and I believe it is the way of our future.  What experiences do you have with homecare?

::AWP::

54 Responses to “What is Homecare?”

June 20, 2011 at 11:13 am, Darin Kaku said:

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June 22, 2011 at 12:25 am, Kyle Nein said:

Interesting posting . Would you be able to tell me where you got the information you have ? .

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June 22, 2011 at 5:31 pm, Ashley Plauche said:

Sure, a lot of this post is based on knowledge gathered from years of working with these different groups to promote homecare. However, I’d be happy to point out sites I visit frequently for information on homecare such as: National Association for Homecare & Hospice (home health and hospice), American Association for Homecare (home medical equipment and services), and National Family Caregivers Association (informal caregivers). I also referenced cites such as this page by the Bureau of Labor & Statistics for information on home health aides and personal homecare aides. Hope this helps!

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Very good information . Have you got more articles that elaborates on this equivalent topic ? .

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June 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm, Ashley Plauche said:

We’re just getting started with the blog and will definitely explore all of the facets of homecare in greater detail in the upcoming posts. Let me know if there is something in particular you’d like us to hone in on!

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June 27, 2011 at 7:25 am, Ashley Plauche said:

Home Health services are provided by skilled professionals; please visit the Medicare site that explains this service and examples of the types of care provided in greater detail. Hope this helps!

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Thanks for the compliment! Please check out my response to Kyle Nein where I give a comprehensive list of my resources. Hope this helps!

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July 10, 2011 at 8:02 am, Ashley Plauche said:

Thanks for the feedback! I will be featuring different bloggers who address homecare, caregiving, and more in some upcoming posts. In the meantime, I recommend you check out the sites I referenced in response to Kyle’s question earlier (see the June 22nd response on this page). Hope this helps!

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