Home Care Services Aren’t Just for the Elderly
For many people, the first thing that comes to mind when they think about home care services is elder care. While it is true that caring for the elderly in their homes is a large part of what home care providers do, it is not the only population that they care for.
People of all ages need home care. Infants, children, teens, young adults, and adults all use home care services for various reasons. Here is a look at some of the reasons that people use home care for needs other than elder care.
Who Else Uses Home Care, And Why?
Following is a sampling of some of the people, other than seniors, who use home care services.
- Catastrophic care. Catastrophic care is often the result of a traumatic injury, such as a major accident. These types of injuries are usually life changing. This could be the loss of a limb or loss of full function, ability, brain or spinal injury, or damage to internal organs that limit ability or result in other conditions.
- Injured workers. Home care is often needed for workers who have sustained serious or catastrophic injuries while working. If an injured worker is unable to safely care for themselves while they move through treatment and recuperation, home care will often be assigned.
- Victims of Motor Vehicle Accidents. Serious automobile accidents are another common reason people in younger age groups may require home care services. Injuries can be extensive, multiple, and ongoing and can require either short- or long-term care.
- Injured persons. People who sustain significant injuries of any kind may need long- or short-term home care as they move through treatment and recovery. The extent of the care and the length of time that it continues will depend on the severity of the injury or injuries. Safety to self and the ability to care for oneself, and the presence or absence of household assistance are often determining factors in whether home care is needed.
- Post-surgical patients. Some people who use home care services do so because they are unable to care for themselves following surgery. Having help in the home ensures that the patient can focus on healing and therapy without harm. Additional services such as nursing or skilled medical care may also be needed (which is true of all the types of patients mentioned here). Depending on the home care company and their scope of service, skilled medical care may be provided by the agency, or it may be provided by a separate provider.
- People with Chronic Illnesses or Conditions. There are any number of illnesses or conditions that may require either skilled or non-medical home care services (or both). Unfortunately, as we all know too well, illness is indiscriminate and strikes people of all ages, from infancy through adulthood. There are a great many reasons, conditions, and types of care that may be provided by home care providers, including (but certainly not limited to) paraplegic care, catheter care, IV, ventilation and breathing, wound care and prevention, feeding tubes, paralysis, altered mental status, and much more.
Home Care Is for Anyone Who Needs Help Managing Activities of Daily Living
In short, anyone who cannot independently perform activities of daily living (ADL’s), or who cannot safely be at home alone, may be a candidate for home care services. Activities of daily living are all the things that a person would normally do for themselves. Examples are meal preparation and serving, feeding assistance, cleaning, errands, shopping, ambulatory assistance (help safely walking or moving to other parts of the home), medication reminders, bathrooming, personal hygiene, bathing, and grooming.
If you are unsure about whether you or your loved ones falls into this group, ask medical providers (doctors, nurse case managers, hospital or rehab discharge coordinators, or therapists) if they feel home care is warranted. You can also contact a home care services agency and discuss the situation with them. If they believe that you should be receiving home care, they can talk further with you about what services they think you need, whether there is an insurer or responsible party who might help pay for them, or what arrangements can be made for private pay.
Care may extend into more skilled medical care such as services provided by a licensed nurse. While some home care agencies will offer more comprehensive services and will have the ability to provide skilled nursing care, others may need to rely on a separate provider for skilled medical care. If both are needed, this should be part of the discussion when you speak with home care providers or case managers who are arranging the care.
Who Pays for Home Care Services for Younger People?
Many times, these services are covered by insurance. Who pays for the service varies depending on the case, liability, and who is at fault.
For chronic illness or conditions, a medical insurance provider may be the party responsible for home care fees, with or without a contribution from the family (depending on the plan and the coverage of care).
For people who are injured at work, a workers’ compensation insurance provider is most likely to be responsible to pay for necessary home care. In the case of a person injured in an automobile accident, a car insurance provider is a likely payor (assuming there is coverage in place).
Even if you do not have coverage by a responsible third-party payor or an insurance provider, you can still access private home care services via private pay. If other household members need to work and there is not someone home to assist the individual, this is often the best solution. Care may be more affordable than you think, too.
Finding The Right Care for Your Specific Needs
Whatever the condition, injury, or circumstance that brings a person of a younger age to home care, you would do well to find a provider who has experience in caring for individuals with similar illnesses, conditions, or injuries. First and foremost, this will ensure that the agency and its providers have the experience to manage the necessary care.
In addition, it can be extremely helpful to work with a provider who has cared for people in similar circumstances because they will have experience with the system and entities involved in the provision of care. For example, a worker injured on the job will have to work within the workers’ compensation system, even if they have personal medical insurance (because personal insurance will not cover an injury that another party is liable for). Having someone in your corner who has experience with such a system can be a great benefit to both the patient and family members who are involved in their care.
The circumstances that bring people to home care are always less than ideal and are frequently life events that bring feelings of overwhelm and stress along with them. Finding the best home care partners to care for you or your loved one can go far to achieving both the best medical outcome, and the best managed and least stressful one, too.
Private Home Care Services has many years of experience in managing and providing care for clients of all ages. PHCS is a preferred provider for workers’ compensation injuries and catastrophic care cases, in addition to cases involving care for chronic illnesses and injuries. Services include both non-medical personal care and skilled nursing care. Case management is also available.
PHCS has a reputation for being not only a provider of contracted care, but a support for their clients working within the many different systems involved in their clients’ care.