Senior Citizen's Guide digital books
Senior Citizen's Guide to Baltimore

What is Homecare?

Generally, home care is appropriate whenever a person prefers to stay at home but needs ongoing care that cannot be easily or effectively be provided solely by family and friends.

More and more older people are electing to live independent, non-institutional lives, and are receiving home care services as their physical capabilities diminish. Younger adults who are disabled or recuperating from acute illness are choosing home care whenever possible. Chronically ill infants and children are receiving sophisticated medical treatment in their loving and secure home environments. Adults and children diagnosed with terminal illness also are being cared for at home, receiving compassionate care and maintaining dignity at the end of life. As hospital stays decrease, increasing numbers of patients need highly skilled services when they return home. Other patients are able to avoid institutionalization altogether, receiving safe and effective care in the comfort of their own homes.

Medicare Certified Home Health Agencies

Medicare Certified Home Health Agencies in Maryland and DC must meet federal and state standards. A doctor's orders are required for care. Medicare-certified agencies deliver "skilled" nursing care and therapeutic services such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy. Medicare-certified agencies deliver "brief and intermittent care" meaning that they work off of a doctor's order that only runs for an episode of 60 days. Episodes can be renewed by doctors when necessary.

Private Duty Agencies/Residential Service Agencies

All private duty agencies in Maryland and DC are regulated by the state. This process is in place to ensure that agencies are adhering to strict health and safety requirements. These agencies typically hire a variety of staff and provide a wide range of services. Many agencies have both nurses and companion care workers that provide assistance with everything from skilled nursing through assistance with the instrumental activates of daily living such as cooking, cleaning, driving customers to appointments, and paying bills.

Home Medical Equipment

All Home Medical Equipment Providers in Maryland and DC are regulated by the state. Any Home Medical Equipment business that received Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement must also meet federal standards. Home medical equipment providers deliver healthcare products and supplies directly to the homes of consumers.The products can vary from complex rehabilitation equipment through oxygen and diabetic supplies. HME providers typically hire a variety of staff to ensure that customers not only receive their products and supplies but that trained professionals ensure that more complex equipment is customized to meet the needs of the customer.

Homecare Offers a Variety of Choices

Homecare providers deliver a wide variety of health care and supportive services. These can range from professional nursing and home health aide services to physical, occupational, respiratory, and speech therapies. Providers may be for-profit, non-profit, or hospital based.

Companions provide companionship and comfort to individuals who, for medical and/or safety reasons, may not be left at home alone. They may assist clients with household tasks, but primarily provide sitter services.

Home Health Aides assist patients with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as getting in and out of bed, walking, bathing, toileting, and dressing. Some aids have received additional training and are qualified to provide more complex services under supervision of a nursing professional.

Homemaker and chore workers perform light household duties such as laundry, meal preparation, general housekeeping, and shopping.These services are directed at maintaining patient households rather than providing hands-on assistance with personal care.

Medical Social Workers evaluate the social and emotional factors affecting ill and disabled individuals and provide counseling. They may assist patients and their family members identify available community resources. Social workers also serve as case managers when patient's conditions are so complex that professionals need to assess medical and supportive needs and coordinate a variety of services.

Occupational Therapists (OTs) help individuals who have physical, developmental, social, or emotional problems that prevent them from performing the general activities of daily living (ADLs). They also instruct patients on using specialized rehabilitation techniques and equipment to improve function in basic household tasks such as eating, bathing, and dressing.

Registered Nurses (RNs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) provide skilled services. Some of these services include injections and intravenous therapy, wound care, education on disease treatment and prevention, and patient assessments. RNs may also provide case management services. LPNs have one year of specialized training and are licensed to work under the supervision of registered nurses. The patient's medical condition and required treatment regimen determines whether care should be provided by an RN or an LPN.

Home    Featured Programs    Choose Local Area     Request Information
A JR Media Publication • www.jrmediallc.comSite Index