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Dispelling Myths About Home Care: What Home Care Is and Isn't

by Vicki Salemi

Home Care. These two words may overwhelm families as they're considering viable options for their aging and/or ailing relative. Home Care allows a person with special needs to remain in their home, and may encompass a variety of roles such as personal care (i.e., bathing, washing your hair, getting dressed), homemaking (i.e., cleaning and yardwork), cooking or delivering meals, and health care such as having a home health aide come to your home.

While it entails a variety of situations such as people getting older, people who are chronically ill, recovering from surgery or disabled, there are many myths about home care to become aware of as you consider the possibility.

Home care is only for old people.
"People of all ages are eligible for home care," says Maxine Hochhauser, CEO of Visiting Nurse Regional Health Care System. In fact, she notes older patients aren't the only people receiving care; mothers and babies receive services as well as older individuals. In addition, home care may be necessary for a variety of life altering situations such as car accidents, unanticipated illnesses, or other mishaps.

The quality of care provided at home is inferior compared to institutionalized care.
According to Hochhauser, the clinical training of the staff for home care is the same if not better than training in institutions. She explains, "The clinicians need to be very well versed since they're on their own inside a home. It's not uncommon to have advanced medical treatments such as intravenous therapy and ventilator care to be done at home."

Home care is the solution to a problem.
In essence, Milca Pabon, RN, a home health care nurse with Adventist Home Health, indicates that home care is quite the opposite: it finds ways to solve the problem. "The purpose of visits is to teach family members how to provide care for their loved ones in the home." She adds, "It will open them to the resources in their communities that will be able to assist them to function at their highest level if possible where they were prior to hospitalization." For instance, patients and family members are taught how to do procedures such as uncomplicated wound care and post-orthopedic home exercises.

Home care is an alternative to other care options such as a hospital or nursing home.
This is simply not true, according to Charles Puchta, Home Helpers senior consultant. Actually, home care provided by professional caregivers often supplements other care arrangements and helps ensure patients receive the care they need and deserve. "Instead of viewing home care as a replacement for other care arrangements, it is about meeting people's needs and wants regardless of where or when services are provided or who else is involved in the care process."

Home care is expensive and only wealthy people can afford it.
Peter Ross, CEO and co-founder of Senior Helpers, says there are actually many ways for seniors to afford quality home care. "With new programs such as reverse mortgages, VA benefits, long-term care insurance, and access to state and local programs such as Medicaid, many more families are able to afford quality home care for their loved one."

Long-term care only exists in a nursing home.
This is not the case for many families according to Ross. He explains, "If the senior has medical issues that require health care throughout the day, a nursing home may be the right option however, most seniors require assistance and many times it is non-medical. Seniors want to live out their life in their own homes."

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Very interesting article and great addition to the Boomers and Seniors: News You Can Use. Thanks for all the info! :) One thing that helps give families extra options is Long Term Care insurance that inclu
by Kaye Swain submitted on Sep 27, 2009

I will be having available home care where the elderly comes to live within my home with additional elders, but I am looking for information where I can register to receive elders to live in my home, paid for by Medicaid or other insurance at a much cheaper rate than assisted living homes. Does anyone know where I can apply to get the clients?
by Maureen Victor submitted on Jan 11, 2010

I am just starting a new home care in my home. Are there any tips out there to help me in anyway?
by Judy Hornsby submitted on Mar 16, 2010

I am thinking of starting a home care in my home for the elderly. Is there anyway you can help me to find elderly people who would consider living in my home. I have a 94-years-old lady I have been taking care of for over five years now. She's being living in my home for the past three years. I am looking for maybe two or three more elderly people to move into my home to care for with their daily living needs. I can be reached at angelinaphl@msn.com. Thank you
by Angelina St Jean submitted on Jul 20, 2010

What do you do when you don't want your parent in a nursing home / you buckle up and commit to not doing it. We are a family who made it work. I take care of dad during the day and have a caregiver at night so that the family (our two teenagers) have our attention at night for sports and activities and family time.
by DeeAnn Conner submitted on Aug 3, 2010

I am looking into options for elderly mother in law in Ft. Myers Florida regarding moving into private home such as mentioned by Angelina St. Jean and Judy Hornsby. Anyone have availability in Ft. Myers Florida area? Please email me at SRandall09@gmail.com Thank you. Susan
by Susan Randall submitted on Aug 28, 2010



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