People often turn to home health agencies when they want their loved one to have extra help in the home. With the help of these professionals, a senior may be able to maintain their independence for a longer period of time. However, there are only certain tasks that a home health aide will take on, and families need to recognize this. Depending on the needs of their loved one, an in-home caregiver may be a better option. What does an individual in this position do and how do they differ from a home health aide?
In-home Caregiver Duties
An individual who provides homecare
for an individual may take on a wide range of tasks. For example, in-home caregivers provide companionship for senior citizens and help them with daily living tasks. This may be bathing, grocery shopping or preparing meals. In addition, the caregiver often handles light housekeeping duties and provides transportation for the senior citizen if he or she no longer drives. However, an in-home caregiver does not take on medical duties, such as providing IV therapies or wound care. A skill medical professional is needed for these chores, and this is where the home health aide comes in.Home Health Aide Duties
A home health aide differs from an in-home caregiver in that he or she provides skilled nursing care under the supervision of a doctor or nurse. The home health aide provides services such as medication management, wound care and occupational therapy. Furthermore, he or she is required to document the care provided for insurance companies when they are responsible for covering the services. An aide of this type is often employed following a hospitalization, a stay in a rehabilitation center or when the senior has declined in their level of functioning and needs extra help regaining their independence.
Seniors may find they need to employ both a home health aide and an in-home caregiver to obtain the services they require to remain in the home. The decision as to which professional to hire or if both are needed is best made with the help of the senior, his or her family and the senior's medical team. The doctor can make recommendations as to how best to aid the senior and ensure he or she gets quality care. In addition, when a doctor prescribes skilled home health services
, the services will likely be covered by insurance. Keep this in mind and obtain the help the senior needs. Life is too short for them to be shortchanged.