Answers to your Questions About Hospice Care

At HomeAide Home Care we specialize in caregiver services and provide non-medical support to our clients. However, our expert caregivers often support hospice care teams in helping make your loved one’s last days as comfortable as possible.

What Is Hospice Care?

Hospice is a type of in-home or residential care for patients with life ending illnesses. Hospice care seeks to support the patient and family through this difficult time while keeping the patient comfortable and managing his or her pain. Hospice care is patient and family oriented and uses a different approach than traditional medical care. The goal of hospice care is to provide a pain free and dignified death while minimizing symptoms of illness. Hospice care does not try to extend or shorten life, but to make what is left of it pleasant and livable.

How Does a Patient Get Hospice Care?

Hospice care is designed or patients who have six months or less to live. A patient must be referred to hospice by a doctor for the care to be covered by insurance. Once a referral is made, most hospice programs are able to make contact with the patient and family and can begin to provide a full range of services.

Where is Hospice Provided?

These types of programs where created to allow patients to live their last days at home, in comfort, with their family present. Specially trained hospice workers visit the home on a regular basis and immediate support and advice is always available by phone. Even though the care is based out of the home, hospice programs maintain relationships with hospitals so that a patient who needs temporary hospital care can be transferred to a hospital and then returned home while under hospice care.

All though hospice programs started out being mainly in the home, they have expanded and can usually provide care in a nursing home, hospital or other facility. Some hospices maintain their own residential facilities for patents that can’t be cared for at home.

Who is the Hospice Team?

Hospice works as a team to provide care. A family member is designated as the team leader and works with doctors, nurses, aides, therapists, counselors and other health care workers to provide well-rounded care and support. Hospice workers seek to care for the patient and the family as one unit. Hospice care does not end with the death of the patient. Bereavement counseling is provided for at least one year after the death. Hospice programs also offer respite care, allowing family caregivers free time, while the patient is cared for by other team members.

Hospice Care

Who Pays for Hospice Care?

Private insurance and Medicaid cover hospice care. Medicare offers some coverage. To be eligible for Medicare coverage, a patient must be certified as terminally ill with six or less months to live. A Medicare approved hospice program must provide care. The coverage includes medical staff care, medication, brief hospital stays, in home health aides, social workers and family therapists. While receiving hospice care, the patent cannot receive treatment for the disease.

Where Can I Get More Information?

Start with the National Hospice Foundation’s website at nationalhospicefoundation.org. There you’ll find information about programs, tips for caregivers and resources for dealing with end of life situations.

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization can be found at nhpco.org, and provides extensive articles and planning worksheets to help you make the best of your hospice care program.

Need Non-Medical Support from HomeAide Home Care?

Give us call at (510) 247-1200, we’ll be happy to discuss if our services are right for you and your loved ones.

Home Care for Seniors Can Be Better than Living in Assisted Facilities

Is a nursing home or in-home care better?As people get older it can sometimes become difficult for them to perform many of the daily tasks they used to do. Older adults have a higher risk for injury in the home than any other age group. Often, these adults are placed into living facilities designed to provide assistance when they need it. An alternative to choosing an assisted living facility is to use a home care service. There are several reasons why an in-home caregiver is better than an assisted living facility.

The Top Five Reasons why Home Care is Better than Assisted Living

Reason #1: The cost involved in hiring a caregiver vs relocating to a new dwelling.The units designed to provide care to their residents on a twenty-four hour basis are not rented for the same price as other apartments. These units charge anywhere from three thousand to seven thousand dollars a month depending on where they are located and what amenities are included. Home care can be scheduled around the needs of the individual, which greatly reduces the amount of money spent each month.

Reason #2: It is better to keep someone at home because they retain their sense of independence. People who feel they still have control over their surroundings are less likely to become depressed. Seniors who give up their homes often suffer from depression.

Reason #3: When people are in their own homes they can choose to invite friends over or socialize with family members without having restrictions. Assisted units have regulations their residents must adhere to when they move in, which can include the times they are allowed to entertain guests.

Reason #4: People who receive in-home care get personalized service. The type of care hired for in-home is often a nurse or nurse’s aid. This individual is hired to be there on a scheduled basis, which makes it easier for the senior they are providing care for to get to know them. Seniors are more responsive to people they know and feel comfortable with. The person providing the care also gets to know the adult on a one-to-one basis and can pick up on clues which can indicate something might be wrong.

Reason #5: Community involvement. Most older adults have set routines and know the people at their grocery store, bank and church. When they can remain in their own home, they are more likely to remain active in their community. An alert and active senior citizen is less likely to become ill than one who is not.

Home Health Care: Principles and Practices

Interested in learning more about Home Health Care? Take a look at this book available at Amazon.

Twenty-nine practitioners combine their expertise to bring clarity to an issue that is at the forefront of discussion – home health care.The field is emerging and is growing faster than most professionals and their patients can keep up with. Here is a text in which the authors make every effort to provide readers with the latest thinking and technology that can better the home health care field. Spiralling costs have forced all aspects of illnesses to be closely scrutinized for possible home care applications and financial savings.The industry is growing rapidly, fueled by increasing service and constant technological breakthroughs, but the overriding philosophy must be focused on cost containment with maintenance of high quality care. This book is directed at providing highly practical, up-to-date information that health care professionals can use in their daily practices.

Check out the first few chapters from the Google library. If nothing else, take a look the preface, which is very enlightening.

Is Live-In Home Care the Answer for You?

There are certain signs that make you think about where you want to live for the rest of your life and what kind of help you will need to live it. Thinking about such things is definitely not an easy task as it brings to mind questions about one’s mortality. If you are faced with a situation when your children and relatives are hounding you about getting help, it is time for you to really think about what YOU want.

Have you stopped driving? Are simple tasks which you never thought about when you wee younger becoming a problem for you? If you find yourself taking showers less frequently because you are afraid that you will fall or if you have stopped going to the club which used to be your regular hang- out zone just because you find it difficult to go there, it is time to give your age a serious thought. Losing confidence in one’s abilities is not pretty, and it is important that you understand and reconcile to the fact that you may need support. Of course, you could go and spend the rest of your life at a residential facility for elderly people. But these days there are lots of senior people who choose to live at home and hire live- in caregivers to take care of them.

Choosing to stay at home is definitely not as easy decision. There are many considerations to think of, not least of all which is that home care givers are not exactly cheap to come by and may even cost up to $27. You need to understand that if a residential facility for the elderly is not your cup of tea, home care is what you have to opt for. Why? Well, here are the risks elderly people face if they stay alone at home.

  1. Injury: This is extremely common as senior people are prone to fall while showering or going around the house.
  2. Social isolation: Most senior people stop socializing and the regular places they used to visit when they were younger are given the sore look. Sometimes it even becomes difficult to talk to the neighbor who lives across the yard as it seems that everyone other than you is busy with their lives. Slowly, social isolation grips.
  3. Poor living conditions: This happens because senior people find it almost impossible to keep up with house- cleaning activities.
  4. Poor nutrition: This happens when senior people cannot cook regular meals. Some even can’t read expiration labels on food products and end up eating stale food.
  5. Poor hygiene: This is something a majority of senior people face as taking showers everyday becomes a monumental task.

There are other reasons why living alone is a risk for the elderly. Opting for live- in home caregivers is a great idea. Not only will it let you live in your own house, it will also give you the independence you desire so much.

Why Consider Hiring Home Healthcare Agencies?

If you have ageing parents who need your round the clock assistance and help, it would serve you well to hire home healthcare agencies to take care of their needs when you are not around. Even though we would all like to be there for our elderly or infirm parents or relatives, this may not always be possible due to demanding job schedules and other daily tasks like taking care of the kids, completing chores around the house, etc. Hiring a home healthcare agency is possibly the best bet as your parents need not be away from you in an old age facility but can spend their last moments in the comfort and company of their family.

Home healthcare agencies provide a number of benefits that make your life easier and relatively stress-free. You do not have to worry incessantly about your parents’ health even when you are away from home. This gives you more time to relax and take out some time for your own needs which is not possible if you have to be at their beck and call at all times. This can make you irritated and unhappy and the emotional atmosphere in your household can go into disarray causing worries and tensions for the whole family. Home healthcare agencies send professionals who are well suited to aid people who may be suffering from degenerative diseases that are a byproduct of old age. They understand the needs of such people and can help you to maintain a perfect balance in your house.

Home Healthcare AgenciesSometimes, the elderly can become overcome by feelings of loneliness and solitude because of little interaction with the outside world. If they have lost the use of certain limbs or are bedridden, the situation becomes all the more difficult for them. This can cause severe depression and significantly reduce their quality of life. Home healthcare professionals are armed with enough experience to effectively deal with the same. They provide constant support and company and help make their lives better.

Home healthcare agencies send a member of their staff to stay in your house for as many hours as you sign them up to. You can either hire a home healthcare professional on an hourly basis or have them come in for the whole day. In certain situations where the elderly in your home are not even able to accomplish simple, everyday tasks like partaking their meals or having a bath, healthcare staff can be hired to put up residence in your home for a specified period of time.

Once you employ a home healthcare agency, you no longer need to worry about any emergencies, medical or otherwise that may arise in your home whilst you are away. You can concentrate fully on your work and remain secure in the fact that those in your house are well looked after. Home healthcare professionals are certified workers who are adept at taking care of the less fortunate. Home healthcare agencies can also easily perform simple household chores like cleaning, cooking and washing up.

Home is the Best Place to Be

For people with advanced cancer, dying at home rather than the hospital results in higher quality-of-life scores at the end of life, and may be easier on the patients’ caregivers as well.

See this article from today’s Bloomberg BusinesWeek