LIFESTYLE NEWS - Many people don’t understand exactly what is meant by Home Care and that is because it is popular in South Africa but not nearly the same as in many other countries.
Some of the conditions/ situations that can be treated at home by a reputable home health care supplier are, for example:
- Post-hospitalisation care, including rehabilitation
- Recuperating and rehabilitating after a stroke
- Receiving intravenous medication
- Ventilation at home for stabilised patients
- Care and nursing of patients with life-threatening illnesses such as cancer
- Care for the elderly who need assistance with daily activities
- Care for dementia patients (like Alzheimer’s disease) in a familiar environment
- Covid-19 care for stable patients
- Wound care
It is important to do proper research before choosing a home care supplier as there are various loopholes you need to be aware of.
Some important questions to ask are as follows:
- Does the home care supplier have a home nursing practice (PR) number? Otherwise, caregiver hours cannot be claimed from your medical scheme.
- Does the home care supplier have good relationships with the different medical schemes and are they willing and able to deal with the scheme on your behalf?
- Does the home care supplier have a clean service record? Various ‘fly-by-night’ suppliers don’t necessarily have the required experience or accreditation.
- Does the home care supplier have a multi-disciplinary team on board? The prescriptions of treating doctors as well as rehabilitation requirements must be strictly adhered to in the Care Plan.
- Does the home care supplier do an evaluation/ assessment, performed by a registered nurse, before the commencement of service?
- Does this Care Plan adhere to scientifically based clinical guidelines?
- Does the home care supplier follow a patient-centred approach and is the Care Plan individualised for the specific patient?
- Does the home care supplier have a 24-hour emergency line for the families and the caregiver to consult should an emergency occur?
- Does the home care supplier properly train their caregivers and have they at least received accredited Quality Council for Trades & Occupations (QCTO) training?
- If care is required by a registered nurse or an enrolled nursing assistant, do they have South African Nursing Council (SANC) registration?
- Has the home care supplier conducted criminal checks on their caregivers?
- Does the home care supplier at least remunerate their caregivers the required minimum loan and does the home care supplier fulfil its SARS obligations? Remember that the overhead costs of a registered company can sometimes contribute to marginally higher service costs, but these aspects must be properly researched before a choice is made.
When people are desperate to appoint a home care supplier, they don’t always take the time to ask all the necessary questions and also sometimes settle for the best price no matter if all the so-called boxes are ticked. It is, however, essential to ask the above questions to be empowered to choose the best supplier for your needs, also, of course, accommodating your budget if your medical scheme doesn’t cover the care costs.
In these trying Covid-19 pandemic times, it is important to keep in mind that home care is available for stable patients not needing further intervention. If it is not necessary to convalesce in a hospital, the best home care supplier providing this option should be chosen.