FAQ

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Homecare Services

What is Homecare?

Homecare is a form of health care service provided where a patient lives. Patients can receive homecare services whether they live in their own homes, with or without family members, or in an assisted living facility. The purpose of homecare is to promote, maintain, or restore a patient's health and reduce the effects of disease or disability. The main goal of homecare is to provide for the medical needs of patients, allowing them to remain living at home, regardless of age or disability.

After surgery, a patient may require home care services that may range from such homemaking services as cooking or cleaning to skilled medical care. Some patients require home health aides to help them with activities of daily living (ADL).

What types of services are provided under homecare?

  • Homecare Nurses ( RN's & LPN's)
  • Maternal/Child Health Nursing
  • Wound, Ostomy & Continence Nurse Specialist
  • Telehealth Program
  • Rehabilitative Therapists-Physical, Occupational & Speech
  • Medical Social Services
  • Home Health Aides

Who pays for homecare services?

Medicare, Medicaid, Most HMO's, Medicare, Medicaid, Most HMO’s, Private Insurance or Private Pay.

Who is eligible for homecare services?

Once an individual is referred for homecare services, they must meet the following requirements:

  • Individual must require intermittent skilled nursing care or therapy services.
  • Individual must be unable to leave home on a regular basis, other than for medical appointments. The individual must not be driving.
  • Individual must be under the care of a physician.

If an individual is attending outpatient therapies, then they are probably not appropriate for homecare.

Can any other programs assist me if I feel I still need assistance?

Yes, GVNA HealthCare has a wide array of services to care for you long after you have been discharged from the Homecare Program. GVNA HealthCare offers a private duty service that can assist any of our clients once they are no longer eligible to receive homecare services. We also provide peace-of-mind programs such as Lifeline, Telehealth and a Medication Management System that can assist individuals with daily living, while remaining independent.

Do you have more than one office?

Yes, the home office is located at 34 Pearly Lane in Gardner, but we also have a branch office at 489 Bernardston Road, Cherry Rum Plaza in Greenfield, MA.

 

Telehealth Program

What is Telehealth?

Telehealth is a remote disease management system that uses an appliance called the Health Buddy to transmit medical information on a daily basis to a central monitoring site at GVNA HealthCare. The information is obtained through medical devices such as a blood pressure cuff and scale that are connected to the Health Buddy. This allows a nurse daily access to review the information, evaluate symptom changes and intervene to prevent deterioration in a patients’ health status. GVNA HealthCare offers patients the convenience of monitoring health conditions in the privacy of their own home to compliment the medical care being provided.

How could I benefit from using Telehealth?

The benefits of this program from a medical point of view are numerous; GVNA HealthCare will be able to deliver vital signs and other important information to physicians very quickly in order to prevent any medical crisis. The Telehealth program will facilitate coordination of care between physicians and GVNA HealthCare staff. The Health Buddy not only collects and transmits data, but also has a Disease Management component whereby the participant is provided with personalized instruction related to their condition, reinforcement of information and encouragement; therefore, empowering the patient to improve their own care.

How much does this program cost?

The program is offered at no cost to current patients of GVNA HealthCare who are insured by participating Medicare or Fallon plans.

What conditions will GVNA HealthCare be monitoring with the Telehealth Program?

Currently, GVNA HealthCare is utilizing the following five disease management programs through this system:

  •  Diabetes
  •  Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  •  Heart Failure
  •  High Blood Pressure
  •  Coronary Heart Disease

GVNA HealthCare can also monitor basic vital signs and weight through the Telehealth Program for patients who do not require a full disease management program.

 

Private Duty Services-- My Home Connection™

What types of services are available?

Services begin with an assessment by a professional care manager. The care manager develops a plan of care based on a client's individual needs and choices. We help clients and their families evaluate care options with the goal of remaining in their home.

What sets your staff above others providing similar services?

For the safety of our clients, a comprehensive background check is done on all employees. All employees of the program receive ongoing supervision by the program director and attend trainings annually. As employees of GVNA HealthCare, workmen's compensation and applicable taxes are paid by the agency for the employee, therefore relieving you of that responsibility.

Does insurance pay for services?

Some long-term care insurance policies pay a daily stipend directly to the consumer for services after a screening process. Also, some PACE programs and Veteran’s Administration contracts pay the agency directly to provide needed services to their clients.

What additional services are available through the Private Duty program?

Lifeline: An emergency response system. The system responds to an emergency by sending the appropriate assistance immediately after help is summoned by a simple touch of a button. The equipment is easy to use and provides an affordable tool to keep your loved one safe. This services benefits the elderly living alone or with family, recuperating patients, individuals with long-term illness and physically challenged individuals.

Medication Management System: A locked medication-dispensing machine, a little larger than a coffeemaker. This machine holds up to 60 cups of medications. It has an auditory alert system at scheduled times throughout the day that reminds an individual to take their medication. It is easy to load and operate; however, a nurse is available to fill the machine for an additional fee. Should dosages be missed, a caregiver is notified automatically.

 

Hospice

How does Hospice Care work? Who will be coming?

Typically, a family member serves as the primary caregiver and, when appropriate, helps make decisions for the terminally ill individual. There can be many persons providing care, but one person is designated as the primary caregiver and care coordinator. Members of the hospice staff make regular visits to assess the patient and provide additional care or other services. The frequency of visits is determined on an individual basis. Hospice staff is on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The hospice team develops a care plan that meets each patient's individual needs for pain management and symptom control. The team consists of:

Core Disciplines

  • The patient's personal physician
  • Hospice physician (or medical director)
  • Nurses
  • Home health aides
  • Social workers
  • Clergy or other counselors
  • Trained volunteers
  • Bereavement support

Additional Disciplines, as needed:

  • Speech, physical, and occupational therapists
  • Nutritionist
  • Complementary Care such as massage therapy, music therapy and Reiki

Is Hospice only for cancer patients?

This common misconception that Hospice only cares for those patients with cancer, when the reality is that less than half of hospice patients have cancer. Other diagnoses that take advantage of this personal service include, but are not limited to: heart disease, dementia (this includes Alzheimer’s disease), lung disease and stroke.

Why does the timing of hospice matter? Can we call you when they are close to the end?

An earlier referral to hospice will allow you and your loved one to reap the maximum benefit from hospice. The hospice nurses and medical director are experts in relieving pain and managing many other common symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and anxiety. They can also help guide you in making difficult decisions. The Pastoral Support Person helps both patient and family with their emotional and spiritual needs. The Social Worker will counsel and support related to emotional needs, and can also assist with non-medical needs such as financial planning and other end of life issues. The Home Health Aides are trained to provide personal care to hospice patients allowing the family members to "take a break," from the role of caregiver and be the spouse, child, parent or friend of the patient. The sooner these relationships begin, the more comfortable everyone becomes. This tends to become particularly important to the family and caregivers after the death of the loved one as they look to share stories and experiences with others’ who can relate to the experience.

Can the patient still go out and can they drive while they still feel fine or do they have to be homebound?

A primary objective of Hospice is to facilitate the patient’s ability to continue to enjoy their life. They are encouraged to go out and participate in all of the things that bring them comfort.

Do I have to change doctors?

No, your doctor can be part of the Interdisciplinary Team that manages your care if you choose.

Can we call any time of the day if we have a question or concern?

Absolutely, we are here to support you throughout your journey. Our goal is to keep you in the comfort of your home. GVNA Hospice has a nurse available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions or concerns.

Is Hospice covered by Insurance?

Hospice is paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, most private insurance plans, HMO’s and other managed care organizations. GVNA Hospice staff will help determine insurance coverage and assist you in seeking creative solutions for meeting care needs.

How soon can you send someone to see me?

Our goal is to make a visit to you within 2 hours to answer any questions and obtain some basic information. Once the decision has been made to have hospice, we often offer a same day admission at the discretion of the patient and family. We strive to make this process as easy as possible for you and your family, as we understand how stressful this decision can be for everyone involved. We want to reassure you that you are not alone! Our Hospice experts are there to guide you through every step.

What is Complimentary Care?

Complimentary Care is a group of non-invasive, holistic practices that work with the traditional medical, social and spiritual care of Hospice to promote comfort and wholeness for both patients and their families. Some examples are massage therapy, music or pet therapy, special weighted blankets and Reiki. Complementary Care has taken its’ place as valuable resources that enhance the hospice experience, providing symptom control, support and emotional comfort at the end of life. Today it is widely recognized that complementary modalities ease the nervous system’s response to fear, nurture and provide expressive outlets for those we care for in all stages of the dying process.


Adult Day Health Services

What services are offered the Adult Day Health Centers of GVNA HealthCare?

Each Center offers clients a wide variety of personal and professional care. These services include everything from nursing care and medication management to snacks and a hot nutritious meal. Daily activities are also planned for the clients at the Center. Transportation can be provided by family members or by our community senior transportation providers. If you should choose to use public transportation, all arrangements for this contracted service will be handled through the Center.

Where are GVNA HealthCare's Centers located?

GVNA HealthCare has four Adult Day Health Centers located in Gardner, Fitchburg, Athol and Greenfield.

How much does it cost? Is there any help available to assist with payment for your services?

Medicaid covers all costs to attend a Center and payment may be covered through local Home Care Corporations. Currently, our Gardner Adult Day Health Center has a contract with the Veteran’s Administration. Participants may pay privately; however, services may be covered through local Home Care Corporations based on each individual and the level of care needed.


Home Assisted Living™

What is the Home Assisted Living Program?

The Home Assisted Living Program is a Medicaid program designed to enable elderly or disabled persons to remain living in their own apartment postponing or preventing Nursing Home placement or other living arrangements. Services are provided in contracted elderly housing facilities to help restore and maintain physical and emotional well-being and promote independence. Participants receive a daily visit from a Home Health Aide who assists the client in caring for themselves and their environment. The Home Health Aide helps with basic activities of daily living such as bathing and dressing, and also assists with housekeeping chores, such as vacuuming, meal preparation, laundry and shopping.

Are there other services besides the Home Health Aide?

Yes, a Registered Nurse and a Medical Social Worker work with the client, their family and physician to develop and supervise an individualized plan of care. All activities and treatments are coordinated and overseen by the program nurse and social worker. Participants not only receive physical help, but emotional support and companionship. Family members benefit from the peace of mind that someone is checking in one their loved one on a daily basis.


 

For more information about GVNA HealthCare and our services, please contact us, or for more immediate assistance, call 978-632-1230

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