caregiver providing comfort to elderly - home care

What You Need to Know About Home Care

What to do when a person needs care? We clarify which steps are now pending for relatives and those affected, which costs will be incurred and where they can find support.

1. Set the course for Home Care

Your relative will soon be released from the clinic. Now direct the care in the right direction. These offices and people are at your side:

Social service: Every clinic has to take care of patient follow-up. Employees of the social service or the care transfer are responsible. They help to apply for rehab or a degree of care, contact home care services in the Villages and organize aids. Contact the discharge experts at the hospital, they won’t always come to you automatically.

Clinic doctor: Talk to the doctor in good time about the discharge date and further therapy. Usually, a patient is given the necessary medicines to take home with them for one to three days if the family doctor cannot be reached on the weekend or on a public holiday. You will also receive a short doctor’s letter for your general practitioner.

Family doctor: Inform the family doctor about the planned discharge date so that he can prescribe the necessary aids in advance. The resident doctor also issues the prescription for the new medicine. Discuss the need for care with him. His assessment and medical findings can be important for the MDK. Some general practitioners are familiar with outpatient home care services and other contacts nearby.

Pharmacist: Talk to your pharmacist about the current medication plan, the domestic situation and care aids. Find out more: Homecare pharmacies specialize in the needs of people in need of home care.

Family: Hold family council, if possible, with the person in need of care. Say honestly and specifically what you expect from others and what you want to achieve yourself. Despite emotional stress: formulate wishes, avoid reproaches.

Care Advisor: Bring in professionals immediately. You can find experts (free of charge!) At health insurance companies, charities, care support points or at municipal service centers (often “specialist centers for caring relatives”). Ask those affected in your environment for contact persons.

2. Contact care insurance

In order to be able to claim benefits from the long-term care insurance, you must submit a corresponding application. How to do it right:

Submit an application: Contact your relative’s long-term care insurance, which is affiliated with the health insurance company (an informal letter is sufficient). The insured must sign. Don’t forget the date, the cash register pays from the deadline on which the application is received. Make a copy.

Complete the application: The long-term care insurance company will send you an application form. It is best to fill it out together with a care expert who knows and explains the many technical terms. Send the form back to the long-term care insurance fund, signed by the insured person.

An expert comes into the house: The long-term care insurance company commissions an expert to determine the degree of need for care. During the home visit, which must be announced, the appraiser speaks to the person in need of home care and records how mobile they are and what help they need in everyday life.

Long-term care fund communicates the level of care: The company report is automatically sent to the long-term care fund. This checks the documents, decides whether there is a need for care and informs the person concerned of his or her degree of care. The notification must be available five weeks after receipt of the application.

Objection in the event of rejection: If the health fund rejects the care application, the insured person can object (in writing!) Within four weeks. Consult experts, the objection must be justified. If the MDK issues another rejection, the social court is responsible.

3. Organize Home Care resources

What makes everyday life easier for the patient and you?

Stair lift: Find out more about options, financing and your obligations as a tenant from neutral housing advice centers.

Nursing bed: Employees in the medical supply store, in the homecare pharmacy and the nursing service also know what is important. You need a prescription from the doctor. He should note that the bed must be “handicapped accessible”.

Incontinence products: The health insurance company pays the costs if a prescription is available. Diagnosis, severity, and amount should be noted on it. The cash register concludes a contract with suppliers who usually deliver aids to your home.

Care aids: Whether bed pads, disinfectants or disposable gloves: If you are recognized as being in need of care, you are entitled to such care aids for daily use. The nursing care fund pays up to 40 euros per month for this. They are not owned by the home care service.

House emergency call: In an emergency, a radio transmitter on the arm or in the bathroom sends signals to the emergency call center, which sends helpers over. If the level of care has been approved, the health fund usually bears the costs (basic tariff, connection) or part of them.

4. Engage professionals

Nursing services can support relatives with home care. We clarify the most important questions.

Where can I find a nursing service?

Inquire with the clinic’s social services or family doctor. The care fund, local charities and care support points also name providers in the vicinity. Often, neighbors can recommend someone.

What do the helpers do?

You come home to the person in need of care and help them with their body care, hand them the food or help them get dressed (basic care). Depending on the contract, they also help around the house, tidy up or go for a walk with the sick person. They also take care of medically necessary activities, such as giving medication, changing bandages or injecting insulin (treatment care).

Is it worth making a comparison?

The price-performance ratio often varies considerably from care service to care service. A comparison is worthwhile. Always make an appointment for a consultation at home to get a personal impression. A reputable nursing service must put down in writing how they want to be remunerated for the desired services. 

What is in the contract?

Reputable provider lists in a layman’s way which services are performed how often and what they cost. It should also be contractually stipulated that the nursing service documents its work on a daily basis. The notes stay with you at home. Furthermore, the clause should be included that the person in need of care can terminate the care service without notice if necessary.

Who determines the care plan?

Discuss in detail with the outpatient service what you have in mind. In response to this, he offers certain service complexes (different in each federal state), which he settles with the long-term care insurance. For example, the “large morning toilet” includes activities such as “helping out of bed”, “washing”, “oral care” and “helping to get dressed”. You usually have to pay for this clearly described complex as a whole, even if you do not need all of the services. Another option: You take up time quotas. The time that the nursing service needs for a particular activity is calculated, not the service.

5. Establish networks

Whether shopping or gardening: as a caring relative, you don’t have to cope with everything on your own. These people can support you.

  • Neighbors: They already relieve you of the burden when they do the shopping for you. Talk about the changed home situation. You don’t have to be embarrassed, you will find understanding. Ask about organized neighborhood help on site! 
  • Family: Make it clear from the start that you don’t want to take care of the care alone. Distribute tasks according to ability and resilience. Regularly and collectively ask: Which levers do we still have to turn?
  • Voluntary visiting service: Local charities provide helpers who care for the sick on an hourly basis.
  • Mobile menu services: They deliver dishes to the house. Try different providers. In addition, many municipalities offer lunch tables for senior citizens.
  • Retired craftsmen: They often volunteer to help with small repairs – for a small fee. Check with the community.
  • Family members: Caregiving relatives exchange valuable insider knowledge in self-help groups. Everyone here understands your concerns.  
  • Housekeeping: They go shopping, washing or cleaning. That relieves. The nursing service can also take on such services for a patient with a nursing degree – ask.

6. Take good care of yourself

Help! A nice impulse. And at the same time a trap. Having to look after someone 24 hours a day quickly gets down to business. But when relatives are totally exhausted, ask us for advice.

It is better to take countermeasures right away. Caregiving relatives are particularly stressful in the first few weeks. After all, there is a lot to organize. And it hurts to suddenly experience father, mother or partner helpless.

Home Care provider also advises dealing openly with stress. “Some people turn a blind eye to the fact that care is becoming more strenuous,” says the head of the specialist center for family care. Almost unnoticed, new challenges creep into everyday care routine. However, the compensation is missing. “At some point you find yourself in the hamster wheel.” In order not to fall into this trap, caregivers should above all praise themselves, advises: “Tell yourself and others again and again: ‘What I do is not something I take for granted, but something special.’ Those who treat themselves so lovingly are more likely to accept help. ” For example, the grandson’s suggestion to play chess with grandpa on Mondays.

Or the neighbor’s offer to go for a walk with mother more often. “Plan time-outs into everyday life in a binding manner from the outset,” advises nursing advisor from GaeLynn. “Only if relatives take good care of themselves can they provide good long-term care.”

Recharge your batteries: useful tips

Substitute care: If you are sick or need a break, the care fund pays for your substitute. This applies for up to six weeks a year, but can also be used by the hour.

Short-term care: The person in need of care lives temporarily in an inpatient facility. For each level of care there is an entitlement to 1612 euros per year for a maximum of eight weeks.

Day care: Nursing staff at an inpatient facility care for the sick during the day or at night (night care). Depending on the level of care, the care takes on part of the costs.

Vacation together: you only want to go away with the sick person? Some hotels offer holiday flair including short-term care.

Rehabilitation for relatives: Some rehabilitation clinics now offer therapies for caregiving relatives. There they learn back-friendly hand movements or relaxation techniques.

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