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November is National Home Care and National Hospice Month – Tips from Experts to Help Family Members in Need

More than 7.5 million Americans receive daily home-delivered health care from nearly one million caregivers. Each November, the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) celebrates National Home Care and National Hospice Month to honor the men and women who have dedicated their lives to caring for others.

When you or a loved one become ill or need home care, it can be a very difficult and confusing time for a family. In order to help people make the difficult decision regarding who will care for their loved ones in their final days, NAHC has compiled advice to help family members decide on the right time to consider home care and how to ensure their loved ones are being well provided for. “Signs it is Time to Consider Home Care” and “Questions to Ask When Choosing a Home Care Provider” are vital for those people who must make this vital decision.

“Helping the elderly while they are in poor health to remain as comfortable and happy as possible in their own home is NAHC’s main goal,” says Val Halamandaris, president of NAHC. “Dedicated people spend their days taking care of those who can no longer care for themselves, making them silent heroes who should be recognized and thanked all year ‘round,” he continued.

About Val Halamandaris
Val J. Halamandaris is President of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice. Since 1982, Halamandaris advocates for the ill, dying and
disabled and for those who provide their home-delivered health care. Previously, he served Congress as senior counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Select Committee on Aging, and as associate counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Aging. Halamandaris is an acknowledged expert on home health, hospice, aging and the U.S. Congress, and is also founder and director of The Caring Institute, a non-profit organization that nationally recognizes stellar caring, integrity and public service.

About the National Association for Homecare and Hospice
The National Association for Homecare and Hospice (NAHC) is the world’s largest trade association advocating for homecare and hospice. The association, founded in 1982 and headquartered in Washington, DC, encourages development and delivery of the highest quality medical, social and supportive services to the nation’s frail, disabled and aged. Home health and hospice services range from high-tech skilled nursing and therapy to personal care management available by visit or around the clock. For more information, visit www.nahc.org.


Signs it is Time to Consider Home Care:

1. The patient is consistently short of breath, unable to eat, sleeping excessively, and experiencing increasing pain.

2. The patient has started to withdraw from life and/or family and friends.

3. The doctor has stated that the patient’s condition is not curable and that there are no more medical options.

4. The patient has expressed they are ready to die but the family is not ready to let go.

5. The treatment the patient is receiving seems no longer to be helping or working but prolonging the inevitable.

6. Financial issues are becoming more challenging.

7. The patient is unable to do everyday chores such as dressing themselves, going to the toilet or bathing without assistance.

8. It is becoming harder for the caregiver to take care of the patient.

Questions to Ask When Choosing a Home Care Provider:

1. Can you please share your company’s performance standards for their employees?

2. How long has your company been in business?

3. What qualifications, certifications, experience and training do you require of your workers?

4. Are your employees insured and bonded?

5. How do you supervise your workers to make sure the proper care is given?

6. Will the same caregiver oversee my case consistently?

7. Do you conduct a home visit before starting the home care service?

8. Do you work with my doctor in developing a plan of care?

9. Can you provide me some references from doctors, hospital personnel and social workers?

10. Has your company been involved in any lawsuits involving customer satisfaction?