Home Care Services
Choosing a qualified, professional home health care service can be a challenge unless people look for the proper credentials. Further, the services can be expensive. In some cases, government aid and other forms of assistance can help make this service a viable option for adults who wish to remain independent, or for parents of children who require assistance caring for their child. Home health care for children with cerebral palsy varies with need. Several individuals may regularly visit members of a household to assist with tasks.
In-home health care for children
The in-home health care team is comprised of health care workers who provide home health care services for children inside the children’s own home. The relationships with the people on the home care team are essential to the health and well-being of not only the child, but the entire family.
Largely dependent upon the severity of the child’s health condition and the demands on the home environment, services exists to assist where and when needed. For some, housecleaning and a weekly visit from the traveling nurse may be sufficient, while others may require in-home, round-the-clock nursing care, or childcare while a parent works. Some health conditions require more service than others.
Who is on the Home Health Care Team?
Several people may become regularly visiting members of a household as they perform care and a variety of supportive tasks. There may be someone in the home helping wash dishes and fold laundry, at the same time as another is helping the child with cerebral palsy perform prescribed range-of-motion exercises. The school may periodically send a speech and language pathologist or therapist to the home when the child is not able to communicate well, or attend school.
A registered dietician may make monthly visits to supervise nutritional programs. A behavioral psychologist may be contracted for a one-time only visit to assist with some social barriers. Assistive technology service providers may evaluate the home and vehicle needs for ways to make the child’s environment more accessible and inclusive.
Home maker and home care aid agencies often provide assistance with common household chores like meal preparation, personal hygiene and housekeeping chores. Some provide support with activities of daily living and companionship.
Other providers require specialized knowledge to assist with a technical aspects of specialized care. For instance, individuals reliant on respirators, feeding tubes, catheters, or drug therapy infusion devices may require training, supplies and monitoring services from pharmaceutical companies or equipment providers.
Some services provided through home health care services providers include:
- Dental care
- Home Health Aides (HCAs)
- Homemaker and chore workers
- Licensed practical nurses (LPNs)
- Medical care
- Occupational therapists
- Optical care providers
- Pharmaceutical company representatives
- Physical therapists
- Registered nurses (RNs)
- Respiratory therapists
- Social workers
- Speech and language pathologists
- X-ray technicians
Home health care services are delivered in the comfort of the child’s home. They encompass medical assistance, nursing care, social services, therapeutic treatment, assistive technology and assistance with the essential activities of daily living. Often these are services that cannot be solely provided by family members or designated caretakers.
Home care services are usually contracted through home care organizations, private registries, or independent providers. They may include:
- Drug infusion therapy companies
- Durable medical equipment and supply dealers
- Home care aide (HCA) agencies
- Home health agencies
- Homemaker services
- Durable medical equipment and supply dealers
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Staffing and private-duty agencies
The services may be provided by one individual or a team of medical specialists. They work part-time, full-time, contract, intermittent, hourly or by shift. Care must be administered efficiently under the guise of a comprehensive, coordinated health care team leader.
Some of these services are provided through government assistance, while many fall under the child’s special education needs as evaluated by the Individualized Education Plan and funded through state and national government initiatives while the child is still school-aged. There are also services recommended by the health care providers which can be obtained with the assistance of the child’s health insurance. Community groups have access to resources which they lend, fund raise for, or provide to those in need.
There are many opportunities and also barriers to obtaining home health care services. Access to these services may depend on program guidelines, health insurance provisions, financial need, and more. Some families experience high turnover in personnel required. Some programs require the home health care service provider to be Medicare certified, for example. If so, regulatory guidelines require these individuals and providers to be highly supervised and controlled.