Supportive Assistance for Elders


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between HomeSafe and other home care programs?

HomeSafe is a subscription service while other home care programs are set up as a fee-for-service. Most home care agencies serve elderly persons in poor health. HomeSafe is designed to serve older adults who may or may not have chronic health problems. The goal of HomeSafe is to advocate for clients and then to maintain health, safety, and quality of life in their homes as long as possible. HomeSafe also emphasizes maintaining communication between the older persons and their children who live out of town by providing regular communication.

Why should older adults pay for HomeSafe services when they are healthy?

The HomeSafe health managers are nurses with clinical expertise in the care of older adults. These health managers provide individual assessment and teaching that will help the person remain as healthy as possible. Most older adults have chronic health problems or concerns and having the knowledge and assistance of a health professional can result in an improvement in health for the client. Injuries occurring in the home are a major reason that many older adults have to leave their homes. HomeSafe completes a home assessment at least twice yearly to address safety issues. In addition, HomeSafe nurses assist older persons and /or families in arranging services to help elders remain safely in their homes. HomeSafe also provides services and assistance that enhance the quality of life for elders, such as transportation to local arts and entertainment programs or sporting events. This allows the older persons to remain active and engaged in social events they enjoy.

Why should relatives pay for services for their elder family members?

The older adult is often cautious about spending money. They are unlikely to pay for services that will enhance their health and quality of life. This generation of older persons is used to getting along with what they have and accepting the current situation even if that means their quality of life suffers. In past generations is was common for children or relatives to live close to their older family members and assist them with the services they needed. In todayıs mobile society, parents and children may live far apart. Also many families now have both adults working outside the home, which decreases the time they have to assist older family members. HomeSafe seeks to provide the assistance to older adults that family members often canıt, due to distance or lack of time. Adult children may be the first to notice that mom or dad isnıt getting to social events like they used too. Or maybe you are concerned that your parent or relative is not eating well, or taking care of health or hygiene needs. HomeSafe nurses provide a complete assessment and make recommendations for services that will improve quality of life for your parent or relative. The nurse health manager then continues to assess the services the older person is receiving and adds and/or changes services, as needs change. By paying for HomeSafe services families can feel like they are providing the assistance needed to allow their relatives to remain safe in their homes.

What are the qualifications of the nurse health managers?

The nurse health managers are either faculty from the College of Nursing or registered nurses who have education and clinical expertise in the care of elderly clients. The nurse health managers have varied experience in areas such as community care, psychiatric care, and medical surgical care.

How do you determine the level of services an elder should have?

The HomeSafe nurse manager completes an assessment of the older person and with that assessment information the elder, family, and nurse agree on the appropriate level of services. If the elder and /or family want to change levels either up or down this can be done at any time in consultation with the HomeSafe Nurse manager.

What if the elder does not want information shared with their family?

All information is kept confidential and is shared only with permission from the older person.

Can I purchase services listed under level V without purchasing another level?

No, the HomeSafe program is based on the premise that elders who have the assistance of a nurse health manager who assesses, coordinates and evaluates their service and safety needs, will be able to remain in their homes longer. Because we view the role of the nurse health manager in promoting health and independence as essential level I, II, III, or IV services must be purchased before they can purchase level V.

Who do I contact for more information?

You can contact Barbara Kyles, Nurse Coordinator of HomeSafe at 319-335-7123 or by e-mail at home-safe@uiowa.edu.