Now that you have found a wheelchair to use, learned how to maintain it, and know of all the places you can go with your wheelchair, you have the means of getting around and getting things done. But if you are a person that is injured and is not completely independent then you will need to acquire some additional help. Granted your family is there to help you; they love you and care about you. However, as much as they care about you, they most likely have a life of their own to maintain. Perhaps the members in your family are working and trying to provide an income to pay the mortgage or put food on the table. Their time is as just as valuable as yours, and therefore, depending on your situation, it might be wise and helpful to acquire the help of a home health aid agency that will help take some of the load off of the family members.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you, as a person with a disability, are in the way. I am only saying that people are human – they get tired and need help. Home health aids will help lighten the load on the family members. I also believe strongly that many hands make light work.
Assess Your Needs
Before selecting a home health aid agency, you need to assess your needs. You need to know what things with which you need help doing on a day to day basis. Once you’ve done that it will be a lot easier to communicate to the home health agency what you need done.
Take the time to write out your care plan. Start with your morning and what it takes to get ready for the day step by step. After that is done, the rest of your cares will be easier to plan. It’s now time to choose the home health aid agency that you want coming into your home to care for you. Before you do this,
After you have written out your care plan, you need to find out what your insurance will cover. Keep in mind that you probably won’t get all of your home health care needs met because your insurance might not cover it.
Selecting an Agency
After your insurance has been worked out, you can start looking for a home health aid agency. Several ways exist for you to find a reputable agency. You can do a Google search for reviews of home health aide agencies in your area. Also, your general physician can refer you to some agencies that are reputable and that will take your insurance. Another way to find a good agency is to call a home health agency and ask them for references of other agencies that could help. You can even ask your general physician for a booklet that has listings of all the home health aide agencies in your area. Even your caseworker can help you. Caseworkers are a spring of knowledge when it comes to finding sources that are out there that will help you find what you need.
Once you have found a home health aide agency that you are interested in, call and talk to a person in intake. His job is to take down your information. He will ask you questions about your classification of injury and ask you what you need. You will let the intake person know what days of the week you would need a caregiver and at what time of the day. You will also let them know what kind of care you require. FYI, it is very important to find out if the agency has home health aides that are qualified to do skilled care such as bowel care if you are a person who requires that kind of care. It is important to find out during the phone call whether or not the agency can provide the type of care you need.
You need to find an agency that can provide you with the special care you need and can support all the visits you need per week. I will stress to you that if you are on Medicaid, it will not pay for two different agencies. Find out if the home health agency can support all of your needs.
Once the intake person has taken down all your information, he will find out if the agency can take you or not and then let you know. He will talk with his aid scheduler to make sure that the agency has enough home health aides to cover all of your visits. Once you have been verified and all the necessary paperwork is completed, the agency will send a nurse out to your home to do an assessment and write out a care plan for you.
In order to choose a home health aid agency you need to follow these simple steps that I have talked about. First, make a care plan. Find out the cares you need. Second ask your general physician, caseworker, or go on the Internet to find a list of home health aide agencies. Third, once you have found that agency find out if it takes your insurance and have home health aides that are able to do skilled care. Fourth, make sure that that home health agency can handle all of your cares so that you don’t have to look for a second one. Fifth, wait for a phone call to tell you if the agency can take your case or not. And finally, be ready to have a visit to your home by the home health agency’s nurse to assess you. These simple steps will save you a lot of time and a lot of burnout with your family members. Home health aides are there to do the work because they care and they take a lot of weight off of the family’s shoulders.
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