Home Health Care Meal Preparation
Home health care is a broad range of medical services. It’s usually less expensive, more convenient and just as effective as care in a hospital or skilled nursing facility.
Start by seeking referrals from friends and family. Registry platforms can help you compare caregivers’ qualifications, expertise and experiences to find a match that aligns seamlessly with your loved one’s needs.
Home health care often requires a team of professionals to deliver comprehensive services. For example, someone with chronic conditions may work with a home healthcare nurse and an internist.
Home healthcare nurses are licensed RNs who can administer medication, provide physical and occupational therapy, and assist with medical equipment like oxygen. They also monitor patient progress and report back to the internist.
Home care is typically charged on a daily rate with allowances made for breaks and rest periods. While it can be a financial challenge, pooling resources with family members or close friends can create a sustainable care plan for seniors in need of specialized home health care. For those without the means to pay, New York offers a range of home care programs through regular Medicaid and federally approved waivers.
Home health aides are often responsible for preparing meals for their patients. Caregiving providers cook up nutritious meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner that are based on each individual’s culinary preferences and nutritional needs.
Caregivers also help their elderly patients plan out their meals and grocery shop. They may also prepare meals that are low in sodium, gluten-free or high in vitamin and nutrient content to meet each patient’s specific needs.
As a part of meal preparation, Home Health Aides/Personal Care Aides should ask their patients about food preferences, religious and cultural beliefs and any dietary restrictions. They should also follow their agency’s procedure when handling money, and purchase food that will not spoil quickly. They should always check the expiration dates to ensure that their patients receive fresh and healthy meals.
Bathing is one of the most personal care tasks and can be especially challenging for seniors who require assistance. They may feel embarrassed or ashamed that they need help bathing and have difficulty accepting it.
It is important to use a warm and gentle voice while bathing the elderly and keep them distracted during this time. Some caregivers may keep up a conversation with the client, while others encourage them to sing along to their favorite songs.
Modesty is also a big issue that seniors struggle with and it’s important to respect their privacy during this process. Caregivers should try to be of the same gender as their clients and provide them with a towel they can hold over private areas. This will make them more comfortable and confident.
Home health care is only available if your doctor prescribes it and you meet certain requirements. To qualify, your doctor must say that you are "homebound," meaning leaving home is taxing or dangerous and you need a walker, wheelchair or other device to get around.
Medical home health care includes services provided by a skilled professional, such as a nurse or physical therapist. This can include wound care, physical, occupational or speech therapy. Non-medical home health care includes help with activities of daily living, such as bathing and meal preparation. It can also include transportation to and from physician appointments, running errands and home maintenance. This type of home health care is typically covered by Medicare or a private pay home health agency.
Northeast Ohio Home Health Care offer skilled care, like nursing and physical, occupational and speech therapy. They are usually short-term, require a referral from a physician and may be covered by Medicare.
In contrast, companion care is non-medical and focused on providing friendship, socialization and assistance with daily living tasks like cooking, shopping, housekeeping and running errands. Companions can also accompany seniors on outings to reduce feelings of isolation.
Karpilow says a client’s best bet for finding a reliable, trustworthy home health aide or companion is by word of mouth. She recommends looking at online reviews and websites, asking friends for recommendations and contacting local institutions that train nursing assistants and home health aides for possible referrals. You can also post ads for a companion on Craigslist and other online job sites.