What is Home Care

Home Care services are non medical, personal care services. Sometimes as we, or our parents age we require additional care. This is usually a difficult time in our lives to identify for ourselves or for our loved ones.  There are many reasons for this. As an adult, watching our parents age, is not something we are prepared for. We are used to them being independent and it is hard to imagine a day when they need us in return. Not only is it hard for us to realize, but it is challenging to identify as well. How do we know if they need help? Is it dementia, or is it the natural aging process? You may have siblings that disagree with you making this process even more challenging. What if you live out of state? You may not know they need help until you get a call. The point is, there is no distinct or clear time or behavior that triggers the decision for home care until usually there has been an “incident”.  A fall or an illness of some sort usually begins this journey when the hospital then recommends that Mom or Dad are no longer home alone
Start The Conversation
Gather the family members around and begin the discussion that Mom or Dad may need additional help. It is important to include all family members so that no one feels left out from the beginning. It is not important to all agree at this time. It is essential at this time to identify who will be the person in charge physically and legally, in case the two are different. (POA and Healthcare POA)

We offer a comfortable conference area for families as a central place to meet to start the discussion.

Get A Formal Diagnosis
Start with you General Practitioner or a Geriatric Specialist. It is helpful to reassure your parent that you are going to alleviate your mind and make sure they are safe.  This is a difficult process.

It is very important for a correct diagnosis and therefore an appointment with a Gerontologist is suggested.  A Gerontologist specializes in elder care and will be able to properly diagnose. There are currently over 200 different forms of Dementia. To be clear, a person with Alzheimers has a diagnosis of dementia, but a person with dementia does not necessarily have a diagnosis of Alzheimers. Every type of Dementia has it’s differences:  different onset, possible different medications for treatment, different challenges and maybe even a different progression. It is extremely important to know exactly what type of dementia you are dealing with so you can create an appropriate plan for the natural progression of the disease.

Unfortunately less than 20% of Dementia patients are accurately diagnosed. In some cases people just assume it is dementia and they deal with the consequences. However, sometimes their can be other medical reasons for altered behavior.  It is like having a form of cancer and not knowing what type you have in order to treat it.  This is why it is so important to start with the diagnosis.

​Please feel free to contact our office for a referral to a Gerontologist:  708-361-7845

We offer public training classes to family members who are taking care of a parent with a form of dementia.  These classes will help you understand how the brain works.  it will teach you the unspoken language of dementia.  How to get through the activities of daily living, crafts and fun stuff.  Dealing with challenging behavior and end of life issues.   Check the web calendar for these classes.

Understand The Difference Between Home Health Services And Home Care
When clients call our office they are always shocked when we explain that Home Services are NOT covered by Medicare. Home Care, no matter who you use is all private pay – which means it comes out of your savings.  However, there are two exceptions:  if you had a long term care policy or you were a veteran. (certain conditions apply)

​Home Health is different than Home Care. Home Health is covered by Medicare and is prescribed as necessary by a doctor. Home Care is assisting a person at home for normal and daily activities including showering and running errands.  Home Care and Home Health can and should run concurrently for optimal coverage and safety.

Review Medical And Legal Paperwork
We suggest you take the time now to review all applicable medical insurance coverage, long term care contracts and review your legal documentation.  It may even be necessary to consult with an elder law attorney to make sure you have all the necessary paperwork in order to take care of your loved one.

Please call our office if you are looking for assistance in choosing an elder law attorney:  708-361-7845