Homecare 101: Non-Medical Service Basics

When you recognize the need for in home senior care for a loved one, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Everyone’s life changes and you may not always understand what’s being proposed to you in these new circumstances. This article examines the basics of home care in Phoenix so you can choose the right home health care worker and agency for your needs.

Signs In Home Senior Care Is Needed:

  • Stacks of overdue bills
  • Forgetting medications and appointments
  • Weight loss or decreased appetite
  • Personal hygiene issues
  • Lack of socializing
  • Depression
  • Dirty, chaotic home
  • Absence of fresh food/Presence of rotting food

Four Elements of Non-Medical Service:

  • Everyday Activities – bathing, toileting, medication reminders, help getting around
  • Household Chores – light housekeeping, cooking, laundry
  • Transportation – errands, medical appointments, groceries
  • Companionship – pastimes, social activities, hobbies

While it is often family members and friends who provide primary or subsidiary home care, it is also provided in one of two ways:

1. Independent Home Healthcare Workers – These individuals operate as independent caregivers in Phoenix, and are not associated with a homecare organization and work independently with no professional oversight. One obvious benefit may be lowered cost, but the drawbacks are many and may lead to greater cost down the road. Additional drawbacks may be: uncertainty about quality of training and experience, absence of insurance, no authority to contact if problems arise (theft, abuse, etc.), and no source for alternative help if the caregiver gets sick or does not show up for work. Learn more about the hazards of hiring a privately paid caregiver.

2. Home Care Agencies – These organizations may screen and train their employees, and may offer peace of mind through workers compensation and liability insurance, 24/7 services, and access to a team of qualified backup caregivers.. Be sure and ask to ensure that the agency is qualified, as Arizona is not a state that requires home care agencies to be licensed by the State Department of Health Services, and more often than not, agencies have only a business license, not requiring them to uphold the standards of the AZDHS.

Choosing an In Home Senior Care Agency
A qualified agency will provide ample information, but important questions to ask include:
1. Is the agency licensed and certified?
2. How long has the agency been in operation?
3. Does the agency provide care twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays and weekends?
4. How does the agency assure continuity of care?
5. Will the caregiver be an employee of the agency or an employee of the client?
6. Will the same caregiver be assigned all the time?
7. What is the agency’s process for checking the background and competency of the caregivers it hires?
8. Are references from previous or current clients available?
9. Does the agency carry liability insurance?
10. Who determines how much care is needed and what type of care is safe and appropriate?
11. What type of supervision is provided to the caregiver?
12. Does the agency have written policies relating to description of services, hours of operation, eligibility requirements, fees, patient rights, confidentiality, complaint procedures, and emergency arrangements?

– See more at: http://www.ngcare.com/resources/how-to-choose/#sthash.Dkm0NWxu.dpuf

Once you’ve chosen an agency, the next phase is interviewing the agency representatives and selecting the best fit for your loved one. At Nightingale Homecare, you can rest assured that your loved one’s caregiver professional and highly trained, but also individually selected for your loved one based on his or her requests and needs. All Nightingale staff are supervised by a Registered Nurse Case Manager and professional nurses are available 24/7 including holidays. . Our caregivers in Phoenix go beyond the basics to truly connect with your family members and provide support that promotes independence, stability, and fulfillment. Call (602) 504-1555 or Contact Us to learn more about our innovative and compassionate services.