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Just Ask A Nurse

January 27th, 2013

Hiring an In-Home Nursing Service

Elderly patients who want to remain in their own homes may choose to look into an in-home nursing service. Hiring a nurse to come in two or three days a week to help with some tasks such as bathing, cleaning and laundry, will allow a patient to keep their independence for awhile longer than expected. In-home health care providers can monitor a patient’s overall health and physical condition.

In-home health care providers can monitor a patient’s medications to make sure they are being taken as prescribed. They can go through the patient’s home and remove any obstacles that could cause the patient to fall or injury themselves in some way. Aids are often asked to perform light housekeeping duties, such as dishes or laundry.

Most in-home health care providers are nurse’s aids. They can provide a variety of assistance, including evaluation of the patient’s ability to continue to care for themselves on an independent basis. Aids will often monitor the types of food found in the home and keep a record of what the patient eats. This helps physicians keep abreast of any health changes that may be taking place. Their expertise can help determine when a patient should be placed in a nursing facility if their health begins to deteriorate.

Many in-home health care services are covered by insurance. Others may require some out of pocket co-pays but most aspects of the service can be billed through Medicare or other senior insurance plans. Nurses and aids who work through a service are normally paid by the company they work for who in turn, bills the patient’s insurance carrier. Private home health care aids, however, can bill insurance themselves or take cash payments from the patients.

If an elderly individual wants to remain in their home after a debilitating illness or accident, their family may decide to hire an in-home nurse’s aid on a temporary basis. When the family initiates the hiring process, they need to take special care when trying to find the right person. First and foremost, ask for credentials and references. Get the names of people and places they have worked for in the past and check out their track record. Look at their employment history to discover how long they have been doing in-home health care. Do a background check if you have the financial resources. If you are going through an agency or health care service, many of these things will have already been performed. Ask to see copies if you have any questions about the integrity of the person they send to your loved one’s home.

Hiring an in-home nursing service or home health care company can be an excellent option for families who need help taking care of an elderly relative who isn’t quite ready to give up there independence. Knowing how to screen possible candidates and what to look for in a reputable company is important when trying to find someone to care for your loved ones.

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