Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ask the Right Questions When Hiring Home Care in Montgomery County PA

Americans are living longer than ever before. While that is something to be celebrated in many ways, it nevertheless creates its own set of problems. As the population ages, more and more seniors are currently in need of support through homecare in city.

Home care Services” is a broad term that covers the gamut from professional live-in nurses to weekly services by cleaners. What help the senior needs will be determined by their own particular circumstances. Do they need basic help running the household? Can they cope with the cooking and cleaning but need help with errands, such as carrying groceries? Do they need constant in-home care by a trained health professional?

It might be useful to make a list of the specific tasks the home care provider will need to perform, in order to determine what type of service is appropriate. The patient, or his or her family, will also need to decide whether to employ an individual or whether to hire an agency to fulfill the role.

There are numerous agencies that provide in-home care and many of these specialize in elder care. But once a patient has decided what is needed and set up some interviews with potential candidates for the job, what questions should they be asking of the would-be care providers?

Will the home care services agency meet all the patient’s needs?

The patient should discuss his or her specific needs with the agency to ensure that all their requirements can be met. Preventing misunderstandings is crucial and many agencies will provide a written care plan to protect both parties. Some agencies specialize in elder care and it might be worthwhile to check those out first but, in any case, patients should ask lots of questions to determine which organization best meets their needs.

Does the home care services agency have a license?

Not all states require such agencies to be licensed, but most do - and that’s a good place to start. The state’s health department may even be able to provide reviews of the agency. In addition, it would be worth finding out whether Medicare has certified that the agency meets federal health and safety guidelines.

Who are the agency’s caregivers?

Patients should ask how the agency employs its staff. They need to ensure that the caregivers are all trained, licensed in their field, and insured. They should also find how the agency monitors its staff – are they evaluated often? If it’s possible, the patient should set up a meeting with one of the agency’s representatives. The patient needs to know that they could get along well with somebody who may be working for them in their home. The caregiver should be friendly and willing to answer questions.

Can the agency provide references?

References from doctors, other health professionals, and clients will prove invaluable. The agency should be able to provide a list of references. Patients considering employing an agency should also ask their own doctor, family, and friends, if they can recommend a particular senior care organization.

How much will it cost?

This question is crucial. The patient must be sure they fully understand all of the fees. The agency should be able to provide detailed breakdowns of each cost and may have payment plan options available. The patient should also find out exactly how the bills are processed. Some agency fees may be covered by Medicare or even health insurance.

Home care counselors at Family Caregivers Network are available to talk with you and your family about care needs for your loved one, including, how to reduce caregiver stress while providing quality, affordable care. Family Caregivers Network is a home care agency providing In Home Care in Montgomery County PA and surrounding areas.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Why Caregivers Need Respite Care in Montgomery County PA

Why Caregivers Need Respite Care

Giving Yourself a Break Helps You and Your Loved One

From Carrie Hill, PhD

Caregivers who use respite care often tell me that although caregiving is one of the hardest jobs they've ever had, they wouldn't trade the experience for anything. Helping a family member or close friend who has Alzheimer's disease can provide a sense of purpose and great satisfaction.

Still, the emotional and physical demands of caregiving make it hard to be a caregiver 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Without respite care -- a temporary break from the demands of caregiving -- you may be more susceptible to the effects of caregiver stress, such as depression, exhaustion and other health problems.

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Home care counselors at Family Caregivers are available to talk with you and your family about care needs for your loved one, including, how to reduce caregiver stress while providing quality, affordable care. Family Caregivers is a home care agency providing In Home Care in Montgomery County PA and surrounding areas.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Stand Up for Homecare in Montgomery County PA

Stand Up for Homecare

The Stand Up for Homecare campaign continues to generate positive public awareness about the value of homecare and key threats to homecare. Threats include the “competitive” bidding program and regulations and legislation that make it harder to provide oxygen, power wheelchairs, and other medical supplies and equipment to the millions of seniors and people with disabilities who depend on those items. This aggressive, proactive public awareness campaign reaches millions of Americans across every state through the media. The campaign also delivers powerful messages about our vital issues to members of Congress, their staff, and other targeted inside-the-Beltway audiences.

So far in 2010, AAHomecare and its public affairs firm, Rational 360, have circulated to the media more than 100 locally targeted and national press releases about key HME issues. In addition, we have logged hundreds of phone calls and emails to specific reporters. These efforts have resulted in press coverage of our issues as well as guest editorials and features in newspapers throughout the U.S. The campaign is also funding research on the impact of the bidding program and intense outreach to Congress and key congressional districts.

The Stand Up for Homecare campaign is funded through generous contributions from the HME sector, and it is guided by a steering committee of American Association for Homecare members.

What is the Stand Up for Homecare Campaign?

The Stand Up for Homecare Campaign started in 2007 with the HME sector’s recognition of the need to change its image both in Washington, DC and throughout the country. The public awareness campaign has grown into a large scale effort which includes a public relations firm and steering committee to help direct the use of the funds. With the help of the public relations campaign, the American Association for Homecare is able to quickly respond to media stories, be even more proactive in sharing the value of homecare, and provide high quality resources for members to do the same.

Continue reading from America Association for Homecare by Clicking Here.

For more information on Home Care in the Montgomery County PA area visit our website at