6 tips to understanding non-Medicare home health care agencies
Posted August 26, 2011
The non-Medicare home health care agency will meet the needs of an aging population. Surveys of those over 50 years old, consistently shows that nearly 90 percent of them want to remain in their homes and communities as they age.
We are an aging population that’s living longer and healthier than previous generations. So it’s important to plan and prepare for those years when we may need assistance of some kind.
Preparation and planning for those years should start while you are still well and able to make decisions about the future. Many of the aging population ignore that there will be a need of any kind for assistance in the future. Many will wait to take action until an emergency or crisis occurs. For many, the lack of planning and preparing means they will not be able to return to their home or their community. Many nursing home residents are there because they did not plan for those unplanned events life throws our way.
Consider all the possibilities
Preparing for remaining at home and in the community as we age requires identifying what we want to accomplish and taking a look in to the future. It may not be a pleasant thought, but consider all the possibilities that you may have to experience as you age. Don’t count on family members to be there to assist you. Remember, you are looking into the future and you do not know what the future will bring.
Will you need assistance with transportation, cooking, laundry, bathing or dressing? If these scenarios did occur, how would you pay for the services you may need? Did you know that the present cost of having a non-Medicare home health care agency today averages about $20 an hour? That an assisted living facility can cost on average $36,000 a year. A nursing home can cost over $77,000 a year. When planning and preparing for aging, it’s important to consider how to pay for the services we are gong to need.
Surveys of those over the age of 50 years old show that most aging adults want to do things on their own terms, in their own way. They want to maintain control over their life as they age. Planning and preparing for the future now will allow you to maintain control over your situation as you age.
Is long term care insurance an option
Investigate long term care insurance. Contact a reputable company and discuss your options. It’s important to ask about home health care and a cost-of-living rider. Since our generation has a longer life expectancy, you cannot be sure when you may need those services. With the rising costs of health care you want to be prepared and able to make your goal of aging at home a reality.
A non-Medicare home care agency can provide a variety of services to support you to remain in your home as long as possible. It’s the goal of the home health care agency to determine your needs and provide you with the level of service you require.
When the time comes for utilizing a non-Medicare home health agency, it’s important to interview several and compare.
Some important things to look for in an agency are:
- Material that provides information on funding sources, eligibility requirements and fee schedule. Do they have an annual report available to review about the company?
- Do they provide educational material to the aging adult, as well as to the family regarding health/mental health conditions pertinent to the diagnosis of the aging adult?
- Are they part of a franchise? How long has the office been in business? Are they licensed by the state? Do they have to participate and be surveyed by the state to maintain your licensure? If so, do they have results from their survey?
- Can they meet any specific cultural or language needs of the aging adult?
- Do they offer ongoing case management services?
- Do they include the family in the plan of care? How often is the plan reviewed and revised?
The aging population will benefit from utilizing the non-Medicare home health care agency in the future. It takes planning and preparation so that you can be in control of your life as you age. Don’t allow the health care system to determine where and when you will live as you age.
Diane Carbo, RN has over 35 years’ experience in a variety of nursing settings, including orthopedics/rehabilitation nursing, home care, discharge planning, case management, oncology, hospice, senior behavior health, assisted living, and long term care. Her passion is to help people plan for long-term care needs, and to that end started AgingHomeHealthCare.com. Her goal is to assist aging seniors and their families to develop plans that allow individuals to remain home, safely and comfortably, in the least restrictive environment, regardless of age, income or ability level.