Who Handles Your Dad’s Home Health Care Needs?
Wise Health Care Consumer Month is a time to look at a person’s health care needs and make smart decisions about them. Your dad had a stroke. Who is responsible for his home health care decisions?
Does He Have a POA?
Hopefully, your dad has a power of attorney (POA) in place. This person is his agent who will make decisions regarding his care needs. A POA follows your dad’s advance directives and follows your dad’s wishes for things like surgeries, feeding tubes, and ventilators.
What if your dad didn’t set up a POA with an attorney? Decision-making would likely fall to his immediate family. It would start with his spouse and then fall to his children. But, if the immediate family members do not agree on a treatment plan, the courts could get involved and that can get messy.
Remember that the POA’s role is to do what your dad would want. This isn’t a time for personal preferences and beliefs to take priority. It’s all about your dad.
Discuss the Options With His Doctors
Wise Health Care Consumer Month focuses on making wise choices. Don’t make any decisions without talking to his medical team. What is the prognosis? What are his immediate care needs? How about weeks or months from now?
Following a stroke, there may be a lot that your dad cannot do on his own. He will need help with grooming and hygiene, including having you brush and floss his teeth. He may not be able to walk, and that means making sure his home is ready for a wheelchair, which could be a major problem. Home care aides become essential for this, but he’s also going to have home health care needs.
Your dad will need to work with a physical and occupational therapist. He may not be able to talk, which also means appointments with a speech therapist. Someone needs to be available to drive him to these appointments unless you arrange home health care therapy visits. If your dad has medications that are injected or administered through an IV, he’ll need home health care nurses for this. It’s not something you can do without the required training. Your dad requires a catheter for now. Again, he’ll need a home health care nurse to clean it, remove it, and change the bag.
The POA Also Arranges Home Health Care
If your dad cannot handle his health care needs on his own, find out who is named as his medical POA. That’s the person who will research treatment options, find out his home health care needs, and make the arrangements.
Should your dad not have a POA to make home health care decisions, gather the immediate family and talk it out. The best bet is to come to an agreement that puts your dad’s wishes first.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Home Health Care in Glenolden, PA, and the surrounding area, please contact the friendly staff at Suma Home Care. (484) 206-4544
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