Home Health Care – What Is It

Home Health Care refers to supportive personal care or health care given by a caregiver at the patient’s home where the patient or beneficiary is residing, rather than medical care offered in nursing homes or clinics. Home healthcare is also called domiciliary care, personal care or in-house care. It is a relatively new field that combines the services of the elderly in their own homes, away from their institutions. Home Health Care has been seen to be a very important part of the elderly patient’s recovery process and can help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease (Alderma). Studies have shown that patients who receive home health care enjoy a better quality of life than those who do not receive such care.

Assessing the needs of your loved one is the first step in home health care. Your family doctor should be able to provide a referral to a qualified caregiver. The caregiver will need to make a physical assessment of the patient’s condition as well as a diagnosis. Based on the assessment, the caregiver will develop an integrated care plan for your loved one. One of the most common areas of focus includes physical therapy.

Assessing the health status of your loved one can be a difficult task. Medicare only pays for medical expenses that are incurred in a hospital or nursing home. Home health care helps to alleviate the financial burden associated with hospitalization and nursing home care. Many individuals are unaware that Medicare will pay for certain in-home medical treatments for certain illnesses.

Dressing your dependent can be difficult. There are many items that we depend on every day, but there are few items that are as indispensable as a person’s clothing. There are some special considerations to keep in mind when it comes to dressing your beloved. When a person is confined to a wheelchair, there are particular items that may help facilitate their experience. A nursing care provider can recommend items such as ramps or lifts for individuals who must access higher rooms. Special sheets and blankets may also be recommended by your doctor or nurse.

Physician-directed home health care can be very beneficial to those patients who experience a physical limitation that requires specialized assistance. Most physicians feel that medical professionals should be involved in this process as much as possible. Appropriate medical professionals can include physical therapists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. If you have a loved one who has a particular medical condition that requires specialized treatment, you may want to contact your local physician to discuss your options.

The cost of residential care varies greatly depending on the type of care and the severity of the illness or injury. In most cases, the cost of home health care will be more expensive if the resident is confined to a wheelchair or is suffering from a debilitating condition such as arthritis. For this reason, many families opt for a non-medical assisted living community. Rather than a hospital, the adult foster home will provide all necessary medical services including but not limited to meals, medication, housekeeping and medical supervision. If the family wishes to retain the aide, a home health care agency will help coordinate the screening and care arrangement.

Providing companion care is a common service provided in the home health care agency. Companion care usually means a trained aide, nurse or other trained individual who can take the place of a full-time caregiver. Typical services offered by companion care include light housekeeping, light meal prep assistance and helping the senior with errands and shopping.

In most cases, home health care agencies prefer to hire trained aides who are supervised by licensed practical nurses or certified nurse aids. Licensed practical nurses supervise the daily activities of the aides and the extent of the tasks assigned. Certified nurse aides supervise and assist in less strenuous activities like bathing, dressing and light housekeeping. Although home care aides are required to have a valid license, most states do not require them to undergo a background or fingerprinting check.