When looking for home health care services, you’ll likely read a lot of great things about them. You’ll learn that they:
- Reduce the chances someone will be re-hospitalized.
- Help people recover from injury or surgery in the comfort of their home.
- They are covered by Medicare for those who qualify.
- Health care providers are the ones who provide the services for home health care.
- The services received for home health care are effective.
- People are happier than they would be in a skilled nursing facility or hospital.
After reading about all of the advantages of home health care services, you may wonder, “Well, what are the disadvantages of home health care services?”
That’s a great question, and we’re going to tell you.
The Disadvantages of Home Health Care Services
The following disadvantages of home health care services aren’t to dissuade you from using them. All of the benefits of them you’ve read are true. It’s good to know how they fail though, so you can figure out what holes you need to fill when it comes to senior care.
1. Unexpected Costs
Home health care may be less expensive than other senior care services, but there may be additional costs with them when the senior needs durable medical equipment (DME) and other products such as:
While Medicare does pay for home health care services for those who qualify and DMEs, they don’t pay for everything forever. This is why it’s important to research what Medicare covers and who qualifies for home health care services.
You can also reach out to us – All Medicare Advisory. We love working with seniors and their loved ones to understand their needs and help them know if their Medicare program covers their home health care services.
2. Transferring of Home Care Agencies
Many seniors are under the impression that when they start working with someone from a home health care agency that they will have that person throughout the rest of the time they need medical care. This is untrue. It is common for needs and situations to change, which result in the changing of home care agencies.
Seniors often become unsettled when their day-to-day life changes, especially when it’s abrupt. Having someone different show up at their home can be distressing to a senior. That’s why this is considered a disadvantage of home health care services.
3. Difficult to Trust
Many seniors struggle to trust external support because they have been through a lot in life. Trust takes time to develop, so it can be hard for seniors to embrace new health care providers in their home.
Request to have the same people come to your home as much as possible. Many home health care agencies understand why and many will try their best.
4. Lack of Socialization
Seniors who receive home health care services covered by Medicare are deemed homebound. This means they are not permitted to socialize with friends until they are no longer receiving home health care services. This lack of socialization can be quite distressing.
In this case, it may be better for a senior to live in a residential care setting, such as a nursing home, skilled nursing facility, assisted living facility, or rehabilitation center. This way they receive the care they need along with the socialization.
5. Absence of Around the Clock Care
Seniors who receive in home health care services do not have a caregiver with them 24/7 unless they also receive personal care services. Home care (personal care) services are different from home health care services and are not covered by Medicare.
The disadvantage of home health care services not being available 24 hours a day is that if a medical emergency happens in the middle of the night, emergency services must be called. If the senior lives alone and the emergency is one in which he or she cannot get to a phone, it could be life threatening.
6. Increase in Stress Levels
Many seniors feel stressed when someone they don’t know enters their home, especially when they are alone. Higher stress levels can cause or worsen medical issues such as high blood pressure. It can also exacerbate anxiety, which doesn’t feel good for anyone.
7. Lack of Structure
With home health care services in the home vs. a skilled nursing facility, there is less structure. This means that people can end up not following the doctor’s recommendations. This can delay recovery or worsen medical issues.
It can also be difficult for home health care providers to provide the same services they would in a facility. They may not have the room, equipment or tools needed which can detract from effectiveness of the services provided.
8. Leads to Dependency
Seniors may get used to having health care services in the home, so when they need to leave their home for therapy or care, they may not be as willing to do it. This can cause a lot of strife for loved ones who will need to convince their aging parents that home health care services are not offered for all medical situations.
9. Burned Out Carers
It’s common for carers to be burned out. They often work very hard for many hours without relief. This can cause them to not be as friendly and exhibit proper bedside manner. This is unfortunate for seniors and can affect the quality of care they receive.
10. Limited Time
Medicare only covers home health care services for a limited time. Once the senior has recovered, they will no longer cover the cost of the services. If a senior would like to continue with the services, they must be paid for out-of-pocket.
Dealing with the Disadvantages of Home Health Care Services
The best way to deal with the disadvantages of home health care services is to find ways to fill the holes. This means seeking personal care or home care services for any help a senior needs that isn’t provided by skilled care. Asking the home health care agency for providers who are available to complete all of the services for the length of care required. Request a new caregiver if it seems as though the one assigned is burned out. Try to set up the home so that it is structured and safe.
Home health care is a very beneficial service. Do not turn it away. Simply find ways to offset the disadvantages. That way you’ll end up with the best outcome for your seniors mental, physical, and emotional health.
Want to learn more about home health care services? Read: What Services Provided by Home Health Care.
This article was writen by Marcelina Hardy and was last updated on .