In-home Care

In-home care encompasses a broad range of services delivered within the individual’s residence instead of a hospital or care facility. It allows individuals with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia to remain in their own homes and can provide valuable support to caregivers.

Types

In-home services are not uniform. Some offer non-medical assistance with daily activities, while others involve medical care provided by licensed healthcare professionals like nurses or physical therapists.

Common types of in-home services include:
– Companion services: Support with supervision, recreational activities, or companionship.
– Personal care services: Assistance with bathing, dressing, toileting, eating, exercise, and personal grooming.
– Homemaker services: Help with housekeeping, shopping, or meal preparation.
– Skilled care: Support from licensed healthcare professionals for wound care, injections, physical therapy, and other medical needs. Often, these services are coordinated by a home health care agency after a physician’s referral.

Finding

To identify suitable in-home care services, consider the following resources:
– Consult the primary physician: Start by discussing with the doctor responsible for the individual with Alzheimer’s. Request recommendations for home health providers experienced in dementia care.
– Utilize Medicare’s online tool: Explore and compare Medicare-certified Home Health agencies in your area using the Home Health Compare tool available online.
– Use the Community Resource Finder: Access the online Community Resource Finder to search for home care services in your vicinity.
– Seek input from friends, family, and neighbors: Inquiring about others’ firsthand experiences with in-home care services can be particularly valuable.

Choosing providers

Consider the following steps when selecting the right care provider:
– Compile a list of care needs: Before contacting potential providers, outline the specific care requirements and your expectations regarding their fulfillment.
– Initiate contact: When screening home care providers, inquire about the type of assistance they offer and whether it aligns with your specific needs.
– Conduct in-home interviews: Arrange meetings with prospective home care agencies or providers at your residence. Prepare a set of questions in advance and consider having a third person present to facilitate post-meeting discussions and impressions.
– Verify references: Some agencies perform criminal background checks. Inquire whether these checks have been conducted. Additionally, speaking with others who have utilized the provider’s services can be helpful.
– Share relevant information: The more care providers know about the individual they are assisting, the better care they can deliver. Despite memory loss, individuals with dementia retain strong recollections from past periods. Familiarizing the care provider with past accomplishments, cherished memories, and other relevant details will help establish a stronger bond. Our Personal Facts and Insights (PDF) form can aid in organizing and sharing information about the individual’s preferences and background.

Key questions to ask potential in-home providers:

– Are you trained in first aid and CPR?
– Do you have experience working with individuals with dementia?
– Have you received training in dementia care?
– Are you affiliated with an agency? (If it is important to you)
– Are you bonded? (To protect clients from potential losses caused by employees)
– Can you provide references?
– Are you available during the required times?
– Can you offer backup support in case of illness?
– Can you manage our specific health and behavioral care