You don't necessarily need to depend on inpatient medical facilities to meet all your healthcare needs. You can get the quality care you need at home and avoid the inconveniences of hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities.
What Is Home Care?
Home care features a wide range of health, social and rehabilitative services for recovering, disabled, chronically ill or terminally ill patients. Patients and their families choose home care during different stages of their cancer journey, such as after an extended hospitalization or intensive treatment.
How Do I Know if Home Care Is Right for Me?
Choosing home-care services can be an emotional decision and tough process for patients, families and caregivers. You may have difficulty giving up feelings of independence at home. Families may question if they're capable of fulfilling all their loved one's needs.
Where Should I Start?
Gather useful information about the services available and how to access them. Work with your healthcare team (social worker, nurse and doctor) to discuss and assess patient needs. You can start the process of using home-care services by:
- Talking with your doctor. He or she must initiate a referral to an agency and call in an order for home care services.
- Talking with your social worker. Social workers initiate the referral and arrange for home care services with your doctor. They often use the agency they're most familiar with, so discuss other agency options if you wish. If your insurance company requires pre-authorization, verify that it's been notified about your home-care request.
- Contacting your insurance company. Ask your insurer for a list of participating providers. Remember that some insurance companies require pre-authorization of services.