As you grow older, you may dread the thought that someday you may become ill or otherwise unable to care for yourself well enough to remain in your home. In addition to the cost of nursing home care, other factors may upset you, such as your sentimental attachment to your home, the fear of isolation, and the loss of control over your environment and your belongings.
Fortunately, there are long-term care options for those who wish to remain at home following an illness, hospitalization or surgery. You may be able to obtain the services of home health care providers, but financial planning for this alternative is essential including adequate insurance.
Why in-home care?
Rapidly improving technology allows many doctors and nurses to bring advanced medical care into the homes of the sick and elderly. This may be especially promising to you if you live in one of the many rural areas of Oklahoma where access to medical care is difficult. Much like the old days when doctors made house calls, modern physicians and nurses can take a very personal approach to long-term in-home care. Some of the advantages of receiving this kind of care include the following:
- Doctors can send technicians and phlebotomists to your home to perform tests to save you the trouble and risk of having to ask family members to transport you.
- Medical professionals can see your home and survey the environment for hazards, such as tripping dangers, steep stairs or poor access to a bathroom.
- Your medical team can assess your diet by examining the contents of your refrigerator and pantry.
- A visiting doctor or nurse can check your medicine cabinet for prescriptions or supplements you may have forgotten to mention and which may create a dangerous combination.
- You may also include additional types of care, such as someone who regularly cooks, cleans or assists you with hygiene.
- In-home care may offer peace of mind to your family members who worry about you remaining in your home.
Without these types of home health care, many patients who return home after a medical event end up back in the hospital due to falling, dehydration and malnourishment, or complications such as infections.
Paying for in-home health care is not easy, and insurance policies often have caveats that make it difficult for you to receive benefits once you begin to regain strength or independence. If you struggle with an insurance company that rejects your claim for long-term health care benefits, you may find an advocate in a skilled lawyer.