Many adults in California eventually need help to continue living independently as they age. Sometimes, people move into nursing homes or assisted living facilities during their golden years to receive proper medical support and observation from professionals.
Other times, people maintain moderately good health and may only need some support to stay in their homes. Home health care services might include nurses who come to someone’s house to help administer medication or dialysis where someone lives. Someone might also require the support of professionals who help them take care of their house, run errands and engage in self-care, like showering.
Yet, it’s important to understand that there are certain relatively common risks associated with home health care services that people need to know about before seeking them out.
The risk of abuse
Abuse is a common issue in nursing homes, and it is the vulnerability of older adults, not the location, that creates the risk. Unfortunately, some people working for home health care service providers do not receive competitive wages. They may work long hours for substandard pay. Instead of advocating for themselves with their employers, they might take out their frustrations on the people who rely on their assistance. Some home health care workers physically or emotionally abuse their charges. They may withhold medication, mistreat someone in need or support or interfere in their personal relationships.
Difficulty covering costs
Skilled in-home nursing support and other home health care services can cost hundreds of dollars per day. Many older adults cannot afford those expenses with just their retirement savings and Social Security retirement benefits. Additionally, Medicare may not cover those expenses. People may need to apply for Medicaid to secure the in-home support they require as they age. They could face penalties and other challenges if they didn’t plan in advance to qualify.
The possibility of theft
Home health care workers may steal from the people they support or facilitate other crimes. They might make a copy of someone’s house key and sell it to an individual they know intends to burglarize the property. They might steal cash from someone’s wallet or add personal items to the cart when shopping for someone’s groceries.
Older adults who work with reputable companies, cultivate positive relationships with their home health care workers and plan for their potential long-term care needs may be able to minimize the risks associated with requiring support to continue living independently in their golden years.