5 Important Tips to Help You Select Home Health Care in Monterey

When you were young, your parents cared for you, and the time has now come to care for them. The decision to procure home health care is not always the easiest one.  It can indicate to you that your parents are aging. Also, your parents themselves may initially resist this care. Therefore, having all of the tips that you can to make the selection process run smoothly benefits you all.

Choose a Knowledgeable Provider

While it may seem obvious that you select a provider that is knowledgeable in the industry, more important is that you know how to gauge this criterion. When choosing home health care, take a good look at the entity's website. A strong provider is likely going to post resources on its website so that you can read about topics related to home health care.
As you're having discussions with representatives from the agency, note how quickly and efficiently they answer questions. Representatives who have to constantly look up the answer to your inquiries should cause some level of skepticism. You can also gain a sense of how proficient the agency is by reading reviews from families who have used or who are currently using the services. Do exercise caution with online reviews as they could be fraudulent. Instead, find out if the agency has actual references available, or speak with your relatives to see what providers they used.

Look for Different Levels of Assistance

As you're researching providers in home health care, look into the levels of care that are offered. In other words, not all home health care is the same. For some situations, you might need a nurse to live with your ill relative. In other situations, you may need an aide to come to the house for a period of time each day while you are at work. You want to make sure that the facility offers the kind of care that your family needs.
It's also important to choose a facility that offers multiple types of care because your family's needs can change. For example, if your loved one has a degenerative illness, you may need more care and coverage as the ailment progresses. Keeping your relative within the same care system can help to offer a level of comfort during a difficult time.

Select a Program with Medical Care

You may think that your elderly relative needs only a companion right now. Of course, having a companion is extremely powerful, especially for people who are feeling lonely or abandoned. You might consider selecting a program where an aide comes to the home to spend time with your loved one. Regardless of what your relative's current needs are, you must prepare for the future too. In other words, you should select an agency that hires individuals who are trained in medical fields.
Your loved one may have suffered from a medical event or needs someone to administer medications on a regular basis.  You would want to have professionals who are trained in these areas there to handle the situation. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you work with a home health care facility that offers medical assistance. When you are speaking with representatives, you will likely need to discuss your relative's specific medical needs.

Review the Experience

Using the latest methods and having current knowledge in the field are both quite important attributes of a suitable home health care provider. However, you also want to ensure that the entity has a strong reputation in the community over a long stretch of time. While you might be able to gauge the short-term success of a new agency, you do not know what the long-term effects are. When you hire an agency that has decades of experience, you can better see the products of the services.
Also, when elderly individuals are aging and are ill, unpredictable situations can arise. At the least, these situations can seem unpredictable to you. Hiring a company with experience in the field means that the staff members are likely trained to handle an array of scenarios. Instead of constantly having to worry about whether or not the nurse or aide will know what to do if a serious situation arises, you can have a strong sense of confidence that the situation will be handled in a smart manner.

Involve Your Relative

Once you've started to go through all of the options for home health care, you can become quite caught up in the process. In fact, you may forget that you need to select an option that makes sense for your relative. Of course, you are probably cognizant of the individual's physical and medical needs, but you must remember that this individual is a person. Simply being told that home health care will start soon is likely a frightening experience for many individuals. They may feel as though you are taking over their lives.
Work to involve your loved one in the process as much as possible. For example, you can browse brochures and websites of different facilities together. Also, you can talk about what makes sense in terms of services for your loved one. When you speak with representatives, let your relative be present and ask questions. Feeling alienated from the process can have serious consequences.  Your loved one might resist the home health care services even more than you originally thought. Ask your relative for opinions on the situation. This person needs to feel comfortable with the home health care situation too.

As you enter onto this sometimes difficult journey, you might feel overwhelmed. You are trying to choose the best care for your relatives, and you want to keep them happy as well. While you should speak with your loved one's doctor about specific medical needs, you do have some criteria to start with. These criteria can help you to narrow down the many options that are available for home health care.

VNA & Hospice has been delivering Home Healthcare services for people living throughout Monterey and San Benito Counties as well as the southern portions of both Santa Cruz and Santa Clara Counties.

Could Your Parents Benefit From In-Home Care?

Aging can cause a variety of physical and mental changes in the body. That is why most people will need home care at some point. Home care allows people to receive the help that they need without leaving their homes. There are a number of telltale signs that one may need home care.


Memory loss is a common sign of aging. People who are forgetful may frequently misplace things. They may also have difficulty recalling important information such as times, names and places. Additionally, they may neglect to pay their bills. It is common for people to forget things sometimes. However, it is not normal for anyone to be forgetful all of the time. If your parents have trouble recalling things, then it may be time for them to get home care.

Falls and Unexplained Bruising

Falls are one of the top causes of death in people who are over the age of 65. In fact, half of fatal fall accidents occur in people who are over the age of 75. A fall is a clear sign that one may need home care. Because a fall may occur when you are not around, it is important for your loved one to have around-the-clock supervision.

You will also need to look out for unexplained bruising. This can also be a sign of a fall. It may also indicate that your loved one bumped into the furniture at some point.

Driving is Becoming an Issue

It gets more dangerous for a person to drive as they get older. Seniors are more prone to vision problems. They also have slower reaction times. In fact, the average 65-year-old has a reaction time that is 22 times slower than a person who is under the age of 30. This can make it difficult to make maneuvers.

If your loved one has gotten into an accident, then it is time to consider home care. You may also want to consider home care if your loved one has had multiple traffic violations. Additionally, you should look out for scratches and dents in the car. A home health care provider can make sure that your parents safely get where they need to go.

A Lack of Self-Care

Self-care is essential for staying healthy. Anyone who is neglecting self-care needs home care. Long nails, dirty nails, poor hygiene, body odor and unkempt hair are signs of a lack of self-care.

Not Eating Regularly

People who do not eat regularly put themselves at risk for becoming malnourished. This can put them at risk for developing serious health problems. Home care is needed if your parents are having trouble putting together meals. If you suspect that your loved one is not eating enough, then you should look in the refrigerator.

You may notice that there is not a huge selection of food. You may also notice that there is outdated food.

Mood Swings

It is normal for everyone to have mood swings at some point. However, frequent mood swings may be an indication of cognitive decline. A loss of interest in activities, depression and a loss of energy are some of the signs of cognitive decline.

Missing Medication

It is estimated that 75 percent of seniors take at least one medication. Eighty percent of the seniors who are on medication take more than one. Many people need this medication in order to manage a chronic condition. If your parents are taking medication, then you will need to make sure that they take it properly.

If your parents are skipping doses or taking more than they need, then it is time to call home care. Home health care professionals will make sure that your parents take their medications properly. It is important to note that if medication is not taken properly, then hospitalization or death can result.

A Lack of Home Maintenance

It can become more difficult for one to take care of their home as they get older. If you notice that the home is unkempt, then it is time to get home care. You may notice that the laundry is piling up and the trash is overflowing. You should also pay close attention to the lawn. If the grass is not being mowed and the lawn is not being cared for, then this is a sign of yard neglect.

Not Making Sound Decision

People who are suffering from cognitive decline may become a danger to themselves and others. For example, they may leave the stove on after cooking. They may not know how to make the right decision in an emergency situation.

Mobility is Declining

Mobility problems can easily lead to a fall. You should look out for the signs of mobility problems. This includes things such as going up and down the stairs, dizziness and walking unsteadily.

Being Reluctant to Leave the House

Being reluctant to leave the house is a sign of anxiety or depression. Your parents may not want to visit their family members or friends if they suffer from depression. They may also sleep for long periods of time and lose interest in their hobbies.

Missing Appointments

There are several reasons a person may miss an appointment. They may forget about their appointment. They may not be able to drive to get to their appointment. Additionally, they may not want to go out alone. Home health care workers can make sure that your loved ones make all of their appointments.

VNA & Hospice has been delivering Home Healthcare services for people living throughout Monterey and San Benito Counties as well as the southern portions of both Santa Cruz and Santa Clara Counties.