As our loved one’s age, their care needs often increase, requiring assistance and support to ensure their well-being. While family members may try their best to provide care, there are instances when professional help becomes necessary. Recognizing when to seek skilled assistance for senior care is crucial in ensuring the safety, health, and overall quality of life for our elderly family members.
When seniors experience a decline in their overall health or are diagnosed with complex medical conditions, it may be time to consider skilled help. Skilled healthcare professionals, such as nurses, possess the necessary expertise to manage medical conditions, administer medications, monitor vital signs, and address emergency situations effectively. Their presence ensures that seniors receive appropriate medical attention, and their health needs are met.
Medicare-certified home health care is available to individuals who meet certain criteria set by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Medicare will pay 100% for those qualified.
To qualify for Medicare-certified home health care, an individual must meet the following requirements:
MediCare Eligibility: The person seeking home health care must be eligible for Medicare Part A and/or enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan that covers home health services. Typically, this includes individuals who are 65 years or older or those with certain disabilities.
Physician’s Order: A doctor must certify that the person requires intermittent skilled nursing care, physical therapy, speech-language pathology services, or continued occupational therapy. The certification must be based on a face-to-face examination conducted by the physician or an allowed non-physician practitioner.
Homebound Status: The individual must be considered homebound, which means leaving home requires a considerable and taxing effort. This can include assistance from another person or the use of a mobility aid.
Care Plan: A plan of care must be established and reviewed regularly by a doctor. The plan should outline the necessary services, and it must be reviewed at least once every 60 days or when there is a significant change in the individual’s condition.
It’s important to note that not all home health care agencies are Medicare-certified. If you’re looking to receive Medicare coverage for home health care, you must select an agency that is certified by Medicare. These agencies meet specific quality and safety standards set by CMS.
Recognizing when to seek skilled help for senior care is essential for the well-being of our aging loved ones and ourselves as caregivers. By acknowledging the signs of declining health, increased dependence, cognitive impairment, social isolation, and caregiver burnout, we can make informed decisions to ensure seniors receive the professional care they require. Seeking skilled assistance not only improves the quality of life for seniors but also provides support for family members, fostering a sense of peace and confidence in the care being provided.