A term that you might hear a lot of in relation to elderly care services and your elderly family member is “homebound.” This term can be extremely confusing, because it sounds as if your elderly family member is never able to leave her home at all. That’s not fully the case, and continuing to misunderstand what homebound means can keep your senior from having all of the assistance that she truly needs.
Elderly Care Assists Seniors with Basic Needs
Elderly care providers offer skilled nursing assistance to your senior when she needs help managing or treating a medical condition. That medical condition might be a result of an injury, illness, or even a surgery. That medical condition makes life and engaging in activities of daily life much more difficult for your aging family member. She may even be homebound due to that medical condition.
The basic definition of homebound is someone who finds it difficult or impossible to leave home, especially without the help of someone else. The condition of being homebound doesn’t mean that your senior cannot leave her home at all, but it does mean that she experiences extreme trouble doing so. For the purposes of Medicare, the definition of the term homebound is very strict.
Your Senior’s Doctor Certifies Her Homebound Status
Especially in the case of Medicare, your senior’s doctor certifies her as homebound. This certification must be renewed every 60 days in order to meet Medicare’s requirements. This certification helps to ensure that your elderly family member still has the help and services that she needs, including elderly care providers as she heals.
Your Senior May Recover and no Longer Need Elderly Care Services
Many times family caregivers and aging adults worry that the designation of homebound needs to be permanent. But that’s not the case. Particularly after surgery or an illness, your elderly family member may begin to recover. As she gradually regains strength and abilities, she may no longer be considered homebound, but that’s typically a good sign. No longer being considered homebound means that the help that your senior received from elderly care providers and other service providers enabled her to regain her quality of life.
If your elderly family member is concerned about being certified as homebound, understanding the definition and what the term indicates for her long-term well-being can be incredibly important. It doesn’t have to be a permanent condition at all for your senior to get help.