10 Home Health Care Myths De-Bunked

June 15, 2010
According to the AARP, 82% of people said that they would prefer to stay in their homes as long as possible. So it's no wonder that an increasing number of families face the challenge of arranging home health care for loved ones every day. And more often than not, this is the first time they've ever even thought about homecare and, naturally, they have a lot of questions. Where do I start? Who can I trust? What do we need? How often do we need it? There's a lot of great information out there and, as is common in most things in life, there is an almost equal amount of misinformation too. When you or a loved one needs care, regardless of whether you're looking for senior transportation and peer-level companionship or highly skilled adult home care, there is too much at stake to risk being misinformed. When it comes to your health or that of a loved one, there is no room for compromise. That's why we're cutting through the noise and de-bunking common myths about home health care.
  1. You don't need homecare if you can't meet a 4-hour minimum. If you need care, whether it's for one hour or 24, you should be able to get what you need. Everyone's situation is unique and different people have different needs. Make sure that you find a provider that recognizes this and has a no-minimum policy.
  2. If my family is already helping, there is no need for additional care. People who are emotionally and physically exhausted or guilt-ridden cannot provide good care. According to the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide, as a caregiver, you should neither expect-nor try-to be on-call 24 hours a day. Every caregiver needs respite and relief.
  3. There are added health risks for receiving medical care at home. No qualified care professional will administer a plan of care in the home unless it is deemed safe and medically sound (check with providers you are evaluating to ensure each care plan is overseen by an RN).
  4. If I can't do my own shopping and housework, I just shouldn't do these activities anymore. Everyday tasks, like vacuuming or rearranging the basement, can be tedious for a senior with arthritis. Organizing a closet can be extremely tiring for a cancer patient. They're never ending and, if they become more difficult during post-op, or due to treatment or age-related conditions, they can take precious time away from an already very busy schedule. When even the most basic daily tasks become overwhelming, or you just need a helping hand, a qualified care provider can help you to.
  5. Homecare is just for seniors. Home health care is often associated with, but not limited to elder care. Homecare can be a great solution to provide newborn care for new parents with a new baby or even multiples as well as additional support for children and adults enduring chemotherapy, people recovering post-op (from cosmetic procedures to hip replacement surgery) and more. A good home health care solution for your family can be whatever you need it to be.
This concludes the first half of our 10-myth list. Want more? Be sure to tune in to the final installment! In the meantime, are we missing anything? What misconceptions about homecare have you seen? Share them now!