In-Home Nursing Care: Live Independently In Retirement

More adults continue to live healthy and productive lives well into their golden years. In-home nursing care provides some of the ingredients of living independently in retirement.

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Aging is a part of life, just as is birth, youth, death, etc. Society may glorify youth, but it's just but a phase of life. Statistics indicate that by 2016 the number of baby boomers ranged from 74.1 million to 81.3 million, depending on whether the generation begins with the birth year 1943 or 1946.

These are individuals who continue to live independent and productive lives.

 

Types of In-Home Nursing Care Services

In-home nursing care providers offer different kinds of services. Some of them are basic while others are specialized.

Among the services offered include:

  • Medical social work
  • Speech-language pathology
  • Physical therapy
  • Short-term nursing services
  • Personal care services (like bathing, dressing, maintenance, etc.)
  • Routine health monitoring
  • First aid emergency care
  • Brief psychological counseling etc

Some in-home nursing care providers also provide companion services. This could typically include routine phone calls, visits, etc.

Senior adults who cannot make meals for themselves can also benefit from in-home nursing care services. The provider delivers nutritious meals for people who can't leave their homes. They can also prepare the meals at the house while provide providing some form of company.

 

Types of In-Home Nursing Care Providers

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According to the AARP , there exist various types of in-home care workers. Some of these include:

Registered Nurses (RNs) - These are qualified professionals who hold a nursing diploma or associate degree in nursing and have passed the NCLEX-RN exam administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and met all other requirements by the state board. They provide direct care, assist doctors in medical procedures, offer guidance to family members, etc.

Skilled Nursing Providers - These meet federal standards for health and safety and are licensed by the state. They provide direct care to seniors such as changing wound dressings, providing diabetes care, patient education, etc.

Medicare typically covers home health skilled nursing care that's part-time and intermittent.

Personal Care Assistants (PCA's) - These are not licensed but have various levels of skills and training. They can serve as helpers and companions, offer transportation to shopping and appointments and even prescription medicine pickup.

Personal care assistants are the least expensive in-home care providers earning a median of $10.50 per hour according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Licensed Nursing Assistants (LNAs) - They observe and report changes in the patient, take vital signs, set up medical equipment, clean catheters, offer walking assistance and administer some treatments.

A Registered Nurse (RN) or Nurse Practitioner (NP) performs all medical-related tasks. CNA's provide personal patient care such as bathing, bathroom assistance, changing bed linens, serving meals, etc.


Hiring the Right In-Home Nursing Care Provider for Your Retirement

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The National Association of Home Care & Hospice has a list of some of the best providers.

Before you decide on in-home nursing care, sit down with your loved ones and determine your needs.
For example, what are your likes and dislikes, expectations, doctor recommendations, etc? Medicare does not cover personal care if it is the only care needed.

The next step is to find a trustworthy and responsible caregiver. The last thing you want is a care in-home nursing provider who doesn't offer all the services you want.

You can go with different types of in-home nursing care providers. For example, you can opt for an agency, friends, going through the registry, family members, etc.

Each option comes with its share of pros and cons.

To give you an example:

Agencies

Advantages

  • Pre-screened workers with relevant experience
  • Backup care
  • Reported problems are addressed immediately and handled by a supervisor
  • Limited paperwork since you pay the agency directly and the handle everything else.


Disadvantages

  • It's more expensive opting for an agency-provided in-home nursing care provider.
  • A minimal choice as the agency doesn't allow part-time schedules
  • Limited negotiation. Individual caregivers are typically more flexible when it comes to overtime and duties than agencies.

For the best result, consult with friends and neighbors who have employed caregivers and got recommendations. They usually have a better idea of the best agencies. You can also ask the community.

Registries

These are maintained by the local and sometimes state agencies. They have lists of available in-house care providers and nursing aides in your area.

Advantages

Better fit since you go to the provider who best fits your retirement lifestyle
You give the rules
You spend less with a registry since they don't take a cut of the agency fees.
Care providers can work unusual schedules for you if you need them.

Disadvantages

  • Lots of paperwork
  • You handle all the complaints
  • You pay for some of the specialized training for your in-home nursing care provider if you need specialized services.
  • You may be held liable for on-job accidents unlike with agencies who insure their own.

The final step to hire the best in home nursing care provider is to interview candidates and applicants either alone or with a loved one. Have prepared questions and be honest about job requirements.

One of the primary consideration when hiring an in-home nursing care provider is the cost. The last thing you want is a provider who milks your entire retirement income. In some cases, you can get help paying for in-home nursing care

 

Final Thoughts

In-home nursing care can provide the tools necessary for you to live independently in your golden years. From primary care to more specialized needs like health-care. It's possible to get the help that you need to live a productive and happy life during your golden years. And do it right at home!