Your Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Home Health Care Agency

Your Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Home Health Care Agency

If you are currently looking for home health care for yourself or a loved one, you are not alone. Home health care agencies around the country are already helping 12 million Americans. It is estimated that nearly 1 out of 4 people living in the United States can benefit from the services that a home health care agency provides. More and more people are finding that home health care is the best choice for them. But, finding the right home health care agency for you or your loved one can be confusing, stressful, and overwhelming.

Centric Healthcare can help take some of the confusion and stress out of your decision-making process. To this end, Centric Healthcare wants to provide you with clear information and helpful suggestions for making the best possible choice.

What is home health care?

The process of making the right choice begins with a good understanding of what home health care is and how it works. Home health care refers to a wide variety of medical and non-medical support services provided for you in your home. Medical services can range from skilled nursing to mental health services. The non-medical support services can range from assistance with activities of daily living (ADL) to companionship. The services can meet a short-term need while you recover from surgery or receive rehabilitation for a temporary injury. The services can also be part of a long-term care plan to meet your needs related to permanent disability or chronic condition.


The services offered by home health care agencies are normally offered in the privacy and comfort of your home. Services can also be offered in communal settings like an assisted living center, nursing home, or rehabilitation facility.

What home health care services are available?

Not all home health care agencies offer the same services. When looking for the right agency for you, it is important to know which agencies provide the services you need. Centric Healthcare offers the following services provided by well-trained, properly licensed staff.

Acupuncture Therapy

Acupuncture therapy is based on a medical protocol for pain management that focuses on balancing the flow of energy (qi or chi) inside your body’s nervous system. In addition to pain management, acupuncture therapy is useful when treating:

  1. Emotional disorders

  2. Degenerative diseases

  3. Neurological disorders

  4. Chronic fatigue

  5. Digestive disorders

  6. Respiratory conditions

Home Health Aide Services

Home health aides help you with activities of daily living (ADL) when a temporary or permanent condition prevents you from doing them for yourself. Home health aides typically work under the direction of skilled nursing supervisors. A few examples of home health aide services include:

  1. Help with bathing, grooming, and dressing

  2. Help with grocery shopping and meal preparation

  3. Help with monitoring your medication

  4. Help with your schedules and appointments

  5. Help with light housekeeping such as laundry and vacuuming

  6. Help with transportation to and from appointments

In addition to these typical services, home health aides also provide you with social interaction, encouragement, and companionship.


Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT)

Through Medical Nutrition Therapy, a Registered Dietician works with you to develop a nutrition plan as part of the treatment for various diseases and conditions. Your nutrition plan is tailor-made for you, taking into account your health history, current condition, religious considerations, allergies, and other factors. MNT helps you gain a better understanding of the relationship between the foods you eat and your health.


Medical Social Worker Services

A medical social worker helps you coordinate a wide variety of services and treatments needed to effectively manage your temporary and long-term health conditions. Medical social workers connect you with medical and non-medical resources that allow you to focus on your health while living independently. Examples of medical social worker services include:

  1. Help with the development and implementation of your care plan

  2. Help with connecting to counseling and support groups

  3. Help with connecting to financial resources and non-medical support services

  4. Help with assessing your home environment and recommending helpful changes

Medication Therapy Management (MTM)

Medication Therapy Management involves a review of all the medications you take and the development of a medication action plan. The services are coordinated with your pharmacist to help you get the most benefit out of each medication you take. MTM services can include:

  1. Help with understanding the dosage and timing of your medications

  2. Help with understanding possible side-effects of your medications

  3. Help with organizing your medications to help with dosages and timing

  4. Help with teaching your caregiver about your medications

Mental and Behavioral Health Services

Mental health and behavioral health services help you manage a wide range of mental health disorders, develop stress management skills, learn to identify your feelings, and explore the link between your mental and physical health. These services can include:

  1. Help with mental health-related side effects of your medications

  2. Help with low self-esteem or depression that often follows illness or injury

  3. Help with anxiety, mood, and personality disorders related to your illness or injury

  4. Help with teaching your caregiver how to help manage mental and behavioral health disorders

Occupational Therapy Services

Occupational therapists help you regain the ability to move and function normally after illness, surgery, or injury. Occupational therapy services can include:

  1. Help with walking and moving around your home safely

  2. Help with improving your muscle strength and coordination

  3. Help with making difficult movements

  4. Help with completing activities of daily living (ADL)

  5. Help with developing an exercise routine

  6. Help with enjoying your hobbies and fun activities

  7. Help with using assistive devices

Personal Care Assistant (PCA) Services

Personal Care Assistant services help with your non-medical needs when you aren’t getting around as well as you once did. PCA services can include:

  1. Help with dressing

  2. Help with eating

  3. Help with positioning

  4. Help with toileting

  5. Help with bathing

  6. Help with walking and moving around

Pediatric Home Nursing Services

Pediatric home nurses provide skilled care for your child in an environment that is least frightening to them – your home. Your child’s illness or medical equipment may make going anywhere for treatment extremely difficult. Pediatric home nursing services can include:

  1. Help with your child’s daily care needs following illness, surgery, or injury

  2. Help with your child’s breathing equipment

  3. Help with treating and monitoring your child’s heart disease, cancer, or other chronic condition

  4. Help with treating and monitoring your child’s contagious disease

  5. Help with your child’s intravenous (IV) medications

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is the use of special exercises that help you regain muscle strength, muscle coordination, and range of motion in a safe manner. Physical therapy speeds up your recovery following surgery or injury. Physical therapy also helps you regain balance, stamina, and muscle function that is lost as part of the aging process.


Private Duty Nursing Services

Private duty nurses provide practical, compassionate, and skilled medical care in your home. These services are designed to help you and your caregiver to manage complex medical needs. Private duty nursing services can include:

  1. Help with breathing equipment

  2. Help with breathing treatments

  3. Help with a catheter and ostomy care

  4. Help with feeding tube care

  5. Help with medication and injections

  6. Help with monitoring your medical condition, treatment, and possible complications

Senior Home Health Care Services

Senior home health care services include almost everything a home health care agency does, however, the services are designed specifically for the elderly. Services can also help if you or your loved one suffers from dementia or mild Alzheimer’s disease. Senior home health care services address the unique needs of older adults while protecting their dignity and independence.


Speech Therapy

Speech therapists provide training that helps you speak clearly and communicate your thoughts well. Your ability to find words and speak can be reduced after a stroke, illness or injury. Speech therapy provided in your home can help. The therapy can include:

  1. Help with normal mouth movements

  2. Help with chewing and swallowing

  3. Help with breathing problems that affect speech

  4. Help with finding words and memory problems that affect speech

  5. Help with putting words in the right order

  6. Help with forming sounds

  7. Help with speaking in a normal volume

What are the benefits of home health care?

More and more people are choosing home health care. You, too, may find that it is the best option for you or your loved one. There are many benefits of home health care. Here are a few of them:


1. Professionals provide the service in your home.

If you are recovering from surgery, rehabilitating after an injury, managing a chronic disease, or if you are a senior who needs help with your activities of daily living; home health care is a great option. It offers the convenience and privacy of care provided in the comfort of your own home.


2. You maintain control over the quality of your life.

While receiving the assistance you need to heal and to do some of the things you are not able to do for yourself, you are still able to enjoy the quality of life you desire in your home. The services help ensure that you can live at home while maintaining your nutrition, hygiene, health, and safety. Because of home health care services, many seniors are able to remain in their own homes longer and avoid moving to assisted living or a nursing home.


3. Home health care is affordable.

Compared to other options, receiving the care you need at home can be much easier on your budget. Shorter hospital stays, fewer returns to the hospital, and the ability to choose only the services you need will all translate into less money for health care coming out of your pocket.


4. Your caregiver gets a break.

n spite of their willingness and desire to help, it is common for caregivers to become overwhelmed with the demands of caring for loved ones. Home health care can share many of the responsibilities of giving care and help caregivers avoid burnout.


5. Home health care improves health outcomes.

Not only is home health care more convenient, more compatible with your quality of life, and more affordable; in many cases, it is more effective in achieving health outcomes. Studies indicate that you can become healthier more quickly and stay healthy longer because of home health care.

Who may benefit from in-home care services?

The vast majority of people who use home health care services are the elderly. However, these services can benefit people of any age, babies and seniors alike. Regardless of how old you are, many of you and your families can benefit from in-home care services. You can benefit from home health care if you:

  1. Recently left the hospital after an illness or surgery and need help while you recover

  2. Suffered a traumatic injury that needs rehabilitation

  3. Have a chronic disease that needs ongoing treatment and management

  4. Lost your ability, for any reason, to move or perform activities of daily living (the loss can be either temporary or permanent)

What is the cost of home health care?

As mentioned previously, home health care is more affordable than many other care options. The actual cost of home health care services for you will depend on several factors, including:

  1. The home health care agency you choose

  2. Where you live

  3. The type of services you need

  4. The frequency and duration of the services you receive

The cost of home health care can be paid directly by you or through a variety of public and private sources. Sources that may help pay for home health care services include Medicaid, Medicare, the Older Americans Act, the Veterans Administration, or your private insurance. Before you agree to receive services, a home health care agency should be able to tell you the total cost of those services, how much of the cost insurance will cover, and how much you will end up paying out of your pocket.

How to choose a home health care agency?

In addition to cost, there are many things to consider when choosing a home health care agency for you or your loved one. As you decide whether or not a particular agency is the best choice for you, consider asking these questions:

  1. Does the agency have all proper licenses, certifications, and insurance?

  2. What services are available?

  3. Are the services available when you need them?

  4. Does the agency provide services in a language other than English if you need them?

  5. Does the agency provide information about services and cost to you in writing before services begin?

  6. What do the services cost? How much will be covered by your insurance?

  7. How does the agency handle billing?

  8. How does the agency do background checks on staff?

  9. How does the agency train staff?

  10. How does the agency monitor staff?

  11. Does the agency have staff available 24/7 for emergencies?

  12. Does the agency explain your rights as a client?

  13. How are problems with service resolved?

  14. How does the agency protect your confidential information?

  15. Does the agency provide you with references?


How Centric Healthcare can help?

As the premier home provider in Minneapolis, Rochester, and the surrounding areas in Minnesota, Centric Healthcare wants to be your choice for home health care. Our mission is to deliver high-quality, cost-effective in-home health care services for you in your home or place of residence. We welcome the opportunity to meet you, listen to your needs, and answer every question you have for us.


Call us today at (507) 205-7322 to schedule a free consultation. Or, go to our website to schedule a free consultation online in Rochester or the Twin Cities.

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