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General Questions FAQ page

Do I Qualify for In Home Care?  HOME HEALTH AGENCY vs In Home care or personal care.  

Medicare, Kaiser and most private insurances pays for a therapist to come to your home through your HOME HEALTH benefits if you

  • Are homebound: it takes a considerable and taxing effort to leave your home
  • Need skilled care: require an nurse or therapist, not just an aid
  • Need periodic care: several visits a week as opposed to hours at time
  • Make progress: maintenance care is not covered by most insurances

However, when that Medicare, Kaiser or your private insurance stops paying for a therapist to come to your home, most people stop therapy.  You may still have potential, even though you payer’s guidelines do not recognize it.  You may need to find your own therapist to come to you home, or find a different place to receive therapy.

Therapy in Your Home was developed to fill the need left by those who do not qualify for Home Health, but cannot get to outpatient therapy.

How is Therapy in Your Home different than a Home Health Agency?

Therapy In Your Home recognizes that people continue to benefit from therapy visits even when progress is not readily evident according to Medicare and other payers. We recognize that payers must set a criterion of what services they will reimburse, and we want you to have the amount of care you feel you need, regardless of that criterion.

Our care is skilled and it is more individualized than most home health agencies since we can help pick the right therapist for you based on your criteria such as skill area, personality, language and schedule.  And we work on goals with your that are beyond what Insurance and Medicare cover.

We help you determine if your condition would be covered by a home health agency before you start with us (criteria such as a recent change in condition, fall, or other qualifying conditions).  And, if during our service, you become eligible for home health, we stop and refer you to a home health agency, then wait until you request our return.

Therapy In Your Home works with you in your home, office, or community. We go to Skilled Nursing, Assisted Living and Residential Care Facilities.

We work with your caregiver to ease the concerns and changes both of you are facing. We have suggestions re rehabilitation, adaptation and communication.  Sometimes it is your caregiver who would benefit from receiving Therapy In Your Home, since it may be your caregiver who cannot get to an out patient therapy appointment.  And because some of the issues may be related to the caregivers role, they may be best addressed at your home – such as lifting and bending, overuse of the hands, putting on support hose or safely showering and walking.

Payment and Planning Questions:  

Insurance Information and Prices will answer many of your questions about who pays for it, how many visits to expect, what you need from your insurance.

Determining how best to communicate with your family and health care team, (or determining how to communicate with someone who you are concerned about) will help with understanding and planning.  See our communication resource page.

Do we provide services in your area?  We have a database of  therapists in the counties of San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz and beyond.  We can provide services anywhere in California, if we have a therapists or you can recommend one.  

What is it like? What about privacy? 

What is it like?  

You are in charge of the visit scheduling, it is your house, and you can set the rules. We follow HIPPA guidelines about privacy. We focus on functional tasks; you can wear your street clothes or pajamas. We have your best interest in mind when we make a request.  However you may perceive the question differently.  Ask us to explain.  We may, for instance, ask to see your bathroom to be sure you are getting in your tub safely, but you have the right to say, “No.” We may for instance, ask if there is someone who can help you with your exercises when we aren’t there, because we want to extend the benefits of our therapy.  You have the right to say, “No.” You are in charge of these ideas we may request.

We often work on bed mobility, since it is often a problem for a person who cannot leave the home easily, and we like to make sure you are safe in the bathroom since so many accidents happen there. The kitchen is a good place to do standing exercises. But where we work is up to you. It is your home.  We can also meet you in the community and work on skills there.

We follow HIPPA guidelines about privacy of your information.

We need your consent to talk to others who might be able to help you.  Usually we find our clients do better when we create a team.  Let us know who we can and cannot talk to about how you are doing.

Can I choose if I get a man or a woman?

You can ask, and we will try to find just the right person for you (specialty, schedule, language and personality). However, if we don’t have exactly what you are looking for (and there isn’t an unlimited supply of therapists), we will tell you and you can decide what you want to do.

Will it hurt? Will they bring machines?

We should not be hurting you.  Some exercises are not easy (challenging your balance, stretching tight muscles) but generally if you aren’t comfortable, or don’t believe what we are doing is helping, you don’t tend to get better. Tell us what you feel. Learning to notice what you feel and recognizing if there is a pattern between what you felt and how you feel later is an important part of getting over painful responses. Sometimes you can do that at home with our help better than you can in a clinic.

We tend to work on the tasks you need to do at home.  Machines are used more in clinics.  There are certain machines and devices you can order for yourself, some paid by insurance that we can help you use to your advantage.  See “Modalities” at the bottom of resource page, “Specific Disabilities and Issues”.

How do I get my family member to participate? And follow through?

Sometimes a therapist can get your family member to do more, and with more pleasure, than a spouse, parent or a son / daughter can. Sometimes the follow through problem is a component of the situation that your family member is in. The therapist can help to assess that and give you feedback.  Often we can train you to provide better verbal and physical cues.   Sometimes you might need a therapist to get your family member started, but then an aide can keep doing the exercises with them, and the therapist can come periodically to upgrade the exercises. Other times it is the skill of the therapist that is the key, and you will want to keep that momentum.

How do I know what my family member or friend wants in the way of help with things?

The first thing to do is ask them.  And then listen.  Their goals might not be your goals.  The second thing is to encourage them to listen to the advice of their Therapist or Doctor. The third thing is to be aware of their disabilities and make sure that the people you care for don’t engage in activities that could endanger themselves. Call us if your have questions or concerns.

What is Occupational Therapy,

What is the difference between OT and PT ?  

What does ST (Speech Therapy) do if I can already talk?

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is skilled treatment that helps individuals achieve and adapt in all facets of their lives. Occupational therapy assists people in developing the “skills for the job of living,” necessary for independent and satisfying lives.
The very word “occupation” means an activity which “occupies” our time.

  • A child in grade school has the occupation of learning, and playing.
  • A senior may want to continue driving safely in order to stay active in their community.
  • A pet owner may need to get food out without hurting her back.
  • A husband may need to keep track of all his medications as well as his disabled wife’s medication
  • Caregiver for a person on hospice might want to learn if it is possible to help the person to a chair

All of these tasks are occupations and participating in them is vital to maintaining overall health and wellness, satisfaction and security, function and ability.
The occupational therapist is focused on the person, the task and the environment. The environment includes the physical surroundings, the caregiver, and the communication of the healthcare team.
Occupational, Speech and Physical Therapist have Masters or Doctorate degrees and are licensed in California. The OT, ST and / or PT often work as a team, enhancing each other’s and the client and family / caregiver’s efforts.

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy, broadly speaking, involves direct manipulation of muscles, joints and other parts of the body affected by an injury or chronic illness. In the home setting they especially focus on balance and mobility. Strength training, pain management and supervised exercises may all be elements of physical therapy. Individual physical therapy regimens depend on the type of injury or condition, the patient’s age and specialized treatments prescribed by a physician.

What is Speech Therapy or Speech Language Pathology?

The Speech Therapist focuses on clients who have difficulties with communication and/or swallowing. Communication includes both expressive and receptive skills, written or verbal. In the home we take a practical approach to practicing communication in the setting in which the communication is needed so we work closely with the other family members.

How will you provide communication with family or MD?

Our communication with your family or other health care providers is a key to your success. Please let us know who you would like us to communicate with. Longer communication may be an extra charge.

How do I know what my parent or friend wants in the way of help with things?

The first thing to do is ask them.  And then listen.  Their goals might not be your goals.  The second thing is to encourage them to listen to the advice of their Therapist or Doctor. The third thing is to be aware of their disabilities and make sure that the people you care for don’t engage in activities that could endanger themselves. Call us if your have questions or concerns.  This paragraph is so important I have included it twice.