Injury, illness, and age can make daily activities challenging. The things you may have taken for granted might become harder to do as you get older. As a caregiver, you might be worried about your loved one continuing to stay in their home — they may need just a little more support with things around the house to allow them to live and age independently.
Needing help is a normal part of life, yet many people don’t want to ask for it — or don’t even know that they can ask for it.
At VNS Health, our home health aides are here to fill those gaps. Home health aides can help you or a loved one with day-to-day tasks and offer companionship. They provide personal care, assistance with meals and feeding and other tasks that mean your loved one can stay safe at home — while giving you peace of mind.
Who Needs Personal Care Services?
If you or a loved one is struggling with everyday tasks like cooking, dressing, or bathing, personal care services from a home health aide may be what you need. If you are worried about your loved one being on their own — but don’t need or want to move them to a nursing facility — home health aides can offer that much-needed support.
However, home health aides cannot provide medical or skilled nursing care. For example, a home health aide can remind you to take your medications on schedule, but they cannot give you or administer those medications.
A home health aide might be the only support your loved one needs, or they might be part of a larger care team that includes medical help. Rest assured that all VNS Health home health aides work under a nurse’s supervision. If you have questions about what kind of support your loved one might need at home, don’t hesitate to contact us.
What Do Home Health Aides Do?
Home health aides can offer many different kinds of support to you or your loved one.
As your loved one ages, they may need help with day-to-day tasks that help them look, feel, and be their best.
Home health aides can help your loved one with a range of personal care tasks such as:
- Oral hygiene
- Getting dressed
Attention to Your Loved One’s Well-Being
As a caregiver, you want to know that your loved one is in good hands and that someone is looking after their well-being — even when you’re not around.
A home health aide can:
- Keep track of your loved one’s symptoms
- Remind your loved one to take their meds
- Help your loved one move safely through their home
- Go grocery shopping for your loved one
- Prepare meals for your loved one
Health Care Escorts
A home health aide can help you or your loved one get from point A to point B.
They can accompany your loved one to and from their medical appointments — which can give you a few moments back in your day to relax, catch up on other errands, and find some time for yourself.
As your loved one gets older, they may lose friends or loved ones and have a hard time connecting with other people. They may become lonely or bored. Over time, social isolation can actually affect their health. Companion care focuses on creating deep relationships and connections.
A home health aide whose daily responsibilities include one-on-one companionship might do things with your loved one like:
- Going for walks
- Doing crossword puzzles
- Creating art
- Being an attentive listener and encouraging your loved one to talk
- Watching for behavior changes that signal sadness, confusion, or memory loss
Call 1-888-735-8913 to learn more about private care options for companion care.
Help Around the Home
A home health aide can help your loved one around the home, ensuring that they are safe and comfortable.
It’s important to remember that an aide’s first duty is to care for your loved one. Your aide is not a housekeeper, and the help they can offer around the home is limited to things related to their care. A home health aide might tidy the bathroom after bathing or clean the kitchen after cooking a meal, for example.
What Can I Expect from a Home Health Aide?
If you’ve never had a home health aide for yourself or a loved one, you may be wondering exactly what you can expect. You may be nervous about bringing someone new into your home and into your loved one’s life. But you can trust that the VNS Health team is both highly trained and excited to meet you.
When you choose a home health aide to support your loved one, you can expect …
A High Level of Training
In New York, home health aides are trained and certified by a program approved by the New York State Department of Health. This program requires 79 hours of instruction in assistance with activities of daily living.
All VNS Health home health aides receive 50% more training than New York State requires. They also undergo a comprehensive background check.
Regular Check-Ins with a Registered Nurse
Your home health aide works under the supervision of a registered nurse, and a VNS Health representative is available to talk 24 hours a day. Your registered nurse will routinely check in on your loved one to ensure that they are well and healthy.
Compassionate and Respectful Care
Our aides come from many backgrounds, so we can match you with an aide who understands you. This means someone who speaks your language, understands your religious customs, and might even know how to prepare your favorite foods.
Our home health aides have also been trained to connect with and support veterans and to provide respectful care to members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Peace of Mind
Caring for an aging loved one can be stressful, overwhelming, and even frustrating. You may find yourself worrying when you’re not around and spending time thinking about your loved one instead of relaxing or living your life.
By hiring a home health aide, you’re actually prioritizing your loved one’s needs and your own — this is key to not burning out as a caregiver.
A home health aide can help ease your worries and give you peace of mind. With VNS Health, you can know that your loved one is in good hands.
Does Insurance Cover Personal Care Services?
In most cases, Medicare covers home health aide services only when ordered by a doctor as part of a care plan. Medicare does not cover long-term home health aide services or personal care.
VNS Health aims to make home health aide services accessible and affordable. We offer a variety of payment options, including paying privately, private long-term care insurance, and several Medicaid Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) plans. If you’re eligible for MLTC, we can help you get enrolled in one of the plans we accept. Call us at 1-888-943-8435.