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Q. What should others know about home human health care?
A. Home human health care should be encouraged instead of nursing home health care.
Q. What is Home Care?
A. Home care is appropriate when a person needs ongoing care that cannot easily or effectively be provided solely by family and friends, but does not need to be in a hospital. More and more older people, electing to live independent, non-institutionalized lives, are receiving home care services as their physical capabilities diminish.
As hospital stays decrease, increasing numbers of patients need highly skilled services when they return home. Other patients are able to stay at home, receiving safe and effective care in the comfort of their own homes.
Q. Will physicians be involved?
A. A physician will oversee home care and will be updated on a patient's progress. All medical orders will come from him/her.
Q. Are family members involved?
A. Since home health care is an intermittent type of service, patients and their family are expected to participate in their care.
Home care services: Questions to ask
Will you receive a written care plan before service begins? The care plan should include details about medical equipment and specific care needs, contain input from your or your loved one's doctor, and be updated frequently.
Will you receive a list of the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved? This is sometimes known as a patient's bill of rights.
Will you or your loved one be referred to dietitians, counselors, therapists or other specialists, if needed?
Will the agency work directly with you or your loved one, family members and health care providers? Must you identify a primary family caregiver? If so, what's required of that person?
Are there any limits on the types of tasks performed? If so, what are the limits?
When will service be provided? Is care available round-the-clock, if necessary?
What procedures are in place for emergencies?
How are problems addressed and resolved? Whom can you or another family member contact with requests, questions or complaints?
When can services begin?
Here are further guidelines.