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6 things to mention when talking home health care

With the right help and medical care, you should be able to stay in your home as long as you wish.

The goal as we or our parents age is usually to stay as mobile and independent as possible for as long as possible. With that in mind, consider these six talking points regarding home health care:

1. Start early

Start talking about home health care and long-term options early. The sooner you begin to look to the future, the better you can prepare for it. Realize that the cost of long-term home health care can take a big bite out of your budget, even if you have Medicare and insurance.

2. Learn your options

If you’re looking at home health care, find out what it encompasses for your particular situation. Sometimes, you might only need a simple followup instead of more comprehensive services. Also, realize some services might not be available in your area, Typically, more rural settings have fewer home healthcare options than urban areas. This might be the time to begin looking at relocating closer to better healthcare services.

3. Check your coverage

Look at all the ways of covering the expense of home health care, whether long term or short term. This is one of the reasons you should start having these conversations early. Health care is one of our biggest expenses as we age, so planning ahead with long-term healthcare insurance is important. Medicare can cover some home healthcare expenses, but typically not long-term ones. Be sure to find out what these programs and insurances offer. Even consider setting aside money in a special account reserved for healthcare costs.

4. Check your house

Make sure the home in question is set up for home healthcare services. Remove any obstacles that could cause a fall and add handles and safety bars to bathrooms, kitchens and bedrooms as needed. Take a hard look around the home and determine if it’s the best place for your long- or short-term healthcare needs.

5. Pay attention

Unscrupulous people often target the elderly and the infirm. Be open with your family members of all ages about this problem and start talking about what to look for when answering sales calls or signing contracts. Sales pitches aimed at the elderly are often too good to be true.

6. Be realistic

If what you need is 24-hour supervised care, your home might not be the best place. Some health situations require a nursing facility or even a hospital stay. Be willing to weigh this option before the time comes.

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