There are plenty of laws that protect people in this country with regard to their personal health information. HIPPA ensures that what transpires between a patient and their doctor can’t be shared by outside individuals, companies, or organizations without the express permission of the patient. But what happens when a senior requires some extra support during the day?
They might turn to elder care services. This could include home care, a visiting nurse, or some other options. When this senior relies on that level of care, what happens to their privacy as it pertains to medical information?
In other words, as the title of this article states, will they need to surrender that right to privacy?
No, but there are certain caveats.
Let’s say an aging senior is turning to home care as a resource. This senior might be recovering from a medical emergency, surgery, or injuries. This support may only be for a limited time.
Still, it’s professional help in the form of a home care aide.
Now, will that senior have to share everything about their medical condition if they are only relying on elder care to help them get out of bed in the morning, get into and out of the shower, get dressed, prepare a meal or two, and so forth?
They won’t need to disclose every aspect about their health, no. However, there may be certain aspects the elder care provider would need to know, either to provide the highest level of care possible or to protect both the senior and herself or himself.
What types of information may need to be disclosed?
If the elder care service is focused on helping the senior recover from some malady, it would be pertinent for them to have that information. How else would they be effective if they don’t know what the senior truly needs?
Also, if the elderly client has a medical condition that may pose certain health risk factors, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or a heart condition, it would be relevant for the provider to know that.
Finally, if the aging senior has a contagious condition or something that could increase risk to the care provider, then this would be something to share. Depending on the laws where the elder care provider works, this may be mandatory disclosure.
For most other aspects of a person’s health, it may not be necessary to disclose that information. Elder care can be a great asset for aging seniors in need, and the senior still has the right to privacy about many aspects of their life, health, and family.