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Starting Home Health Care for Seniors

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Starting Home Health Care for Seniors

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Home is a source of comfort, peace, and happiness as we grow older, but it’s also a factor in mental and physical wellbeing. Seniors who are able to age in place can enjoy connections with their community as well as a feeling of independence and the familiarity of routines and cozy spaces.

But what happens when your needs begin to get harder to manage at home? It can be frightening to admit that you need more help, if you want to stay where you are instead of transitioning to an assisted living facility.

Here’s the good news: Experts on aging agree that there are many benefits to aging in place with appropriate home care, benefits that range from the psychological to the medical to the financial. Seeking home health care makes it possible to have the comforts of home combined with the peace of mind that comes from having your medical and daily life needs met.

When Is It Time for Home Health Care?

Each person’s circumstances are different, as is the level of care and assistance you’ll need. Some seniors only need therapy services as part of their recovery or chronic condition care; others need education or help with daily tasks.

Here are some guidelines to help you consider whether you or your loved one might benefit from home care services:

  • There’s been a change in your medical status—a new diagnosis, a recent surgery or injury—that requires specialized care that could be delivered at home;
  • You have help from a caregiver who is a friend or family member, but you need more assistance or more skilled help than they can offer;
  • Things that you could once do for yourself easily are feeling too tiring or hard to manage on your own. This might include making doctor’s appointments, driving, or remembering your medications;
  • You recently had a life change that affected what help you have on a daily basis, like the death of your spouse, or close family members moving away.

What Kind of Care Is Available?

Because remaining independent at home is an important part of maintaining dignity and quality of life, there are a wide range of programs and services to support that. Some are very local and community-based, like meal deliveries and transportation. Others, like Frederick Health’s Home Care services, are centered around medical help and social work for homebound seniors.

This is just a glance at the many types of assistance that are available to you:

  • Certified home care agencies like our program are able to accept Medicare and Medicaid and provide therapy, education, social work, and nursing at home—in other words, skilled medical services.
  • Private care agencies, which usually require private payment, offer nursing and medical services but may also offer things like meal preparation, housekeeping, and transportation.
  • Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) is a Medicaid-based program that provides funding for complete home care services.
  • The Eldercare Locator website, maintained by the U.S. Administration on Aging, connects you with services available in your area.
  • Home care workers can also provide daily care services like help with bathing, grooming, grocery shopping, and dressing. If you or your senior loved one is a veteran, help is available through the Homemaker and Home Health Aide Care program of the Department of Veteran Affairs.
  • Some programs also offer caregiver support and relief, sending a home aide to fill in for a family caregiver who is ill, traveling, or needs a little time off.

How to Access Home Care at Frederick Health

It’s as simple as a phone call: Reach out to our intake specialists at 240-566-3222. Our staff can answer all of your questions and help you find out whether you qualify as homebound and in need of home care. We will talk to you about what your Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance will cover; and help you understand what services we provide that could help you, including nursing, medication education, physical therapy, and much more.

If your goal is to enjoy life at home for as long as you can, then planning for home care services should be a priority. You don’t have to wait until your need is urgent—getting information early means that you can have that help as soon as you need it. We’re here to support your thriving life at home, so reach out now and make us part of your health care team.