Your home can be the ideal place for recovery and healing. With the help of compassionate and caring professionals, home health care provides crucial supportive survives to patients in every stage of life, promoting safety, comfort, and independence.
What Is Home Health Care?
Home health care offers the professional support services people need to live safely in their homes. Professional caregivers such as nurses, therapists, and aides provide long-term or short-term care in people’s homes, depending on their specific needs. In-home health care can help someone who is living with a disability or special needs, is recovering from a medical procedure, is managing chronic health issue, or is aging and needs assistance to live independently.
What Are the Advantages of Home Health Care?
Home health care involves a broad range of health care services, and is usually less expensive, more convenient, and just as effective as hospital or nursing home care. Home care can be the key to achieving the highest quality of life for you or your loved one. It can:
- Offer personalized, one-on-one care
- Aid with recovery after an illness or hospital stay
- Help avoid unnecessary hospitalization
- Ease the management of an ongoing medical condition
- Enable safety, security, and increased independence
For those considering how to pay for home health care, it is important to note that home care is very affordable. Hiring a home care worker is considerably less expensive per hour than the cost of a nursing home.
Home Health Care Services
Home health care services can give you the help you need. Every patient, home, and schedule is different. Some patients only need a few hours of assistance every month, while others require 24-hour, around-the-clock care.
Home health care services include:
- Registered Nurse Services
- Certified Nursing Assistant Services
- Physical Therapist Services
- Occupational Therapist Services
- Speech Therapist Services
- Social Worker Services
- Nutritional therapy
- Hospice End of Life Care
- Palliative Care
- Personal Care and Companionship
- Medical Equipment at Home
If you are considering home health care services, speak with your doctor. Also discuss coverage with your insurance provider. Some insurers may not cover in-home care, or only cover specific services.
What Are the Different Types of Home Health Care?
Not all home care providers offer the same types of services. Whether serving children, adults, or seniors, in-home care is customized to meet the unique needs of the individual. Home health care may include any of the following services.
Registered Nurse Services
Private nursing care generally includes long-term, hourly nursing care at home for patients with a disability, injury, or chronic illness. Private nursing care may include services such as:
- IV Therapy
- Wound care/dressing
- Catheter care
- Diabetic care
- Ostomy care
- Tube feeding
- Observation and assessment
- Patient education
Certified Nursing Assistant Services
A certified nursing assistant (CNA) provides everything from basic health assistance to companionship. All duties are supervised by a registered nurse and may include:
- Meal preparation
- Assistance with exercise
- Personal hygiene
- Bathing, shaving, hair care
- Light housekeeping
Physical Therapist Services
For those in need of physical therapy services, leaving home can be a difficult and taxing effort. In-home physical therapists can provide a range of comprehensive rehabilitative services, such as:
- Rehabilitation therapy
- Home exercise
- Walk training
- Symptom control education
Occupational Therapist Services
In-home occupational therapy helps patients with physical, emotional, social, or developmental limitations that prevent them from performing the general activities of daily living. Occupational therapist services include:
- Occupational rehabilitation therapy
- Fine motor training
- Perpetual motor training
- Daily living activities training
- Adaptive equipment
- Home modifications (such as ramp installation)
Speech Therapist Services
Speech therapy provided at home allows for focused, one-on-one interactions in an environment where patients feel most comfortable. Speech therapy can include:
- Voice disorder treatments
- Language disorder treatments
- Dysphasia treatments
- Speech articulation
Social Worker Services
In a home health care setting, social workers engage with patients to evaluate the full spectrum of their needs and help them access the resources and services necessary to improve their quality of life. These services include:
- Short term therapy
- Community resource planning
- Social and emotional support
Hospice End of Life Care
The focus of hospice is caring, not curing. While the transition to hospice care typically occurs when a patient has six months or less to live, hospice is more about living than dying. In-home hospice services include:
- Pain management
- Symptom control
- Psychological support
- Spiritual care
Palliative care focuses on relieving the stress and symptoms of patients with serious illness. Palliative care is also a component of hospice care. However, while palliative care and hospice care both provide compassionate medical and emotional assistance to patients with life-limiting illnesses, palliative care can be used as a separate area of medical practice while the patient receives treatment.
Nutrition plays a fundamental role in health. In-home nutritional therapy services include:
- Promotion of wound healing via key nutrients
- Malnutrition treatment
- Tube feeding
- Intravenous feeding
- Transitional feeding
- Personalized nutritional education and guidance
- Dietary counseling for patients with heart disease, diabetes, or other condition affected by dietary intake
Personal Care and Companionship
This type of non-medical home care enables independence and safety by assisting with everyday activities such as:
- Engaging in hobbies and other activities
- Assistance with medication reminders, errands, laundry, light housekeeping, and meal planning and preparation
- Escorting to appointments
- Enabling safety at home by helping with fall prevention, transfer (i.e. from wheelchair to toilet or bed to wheelchair), and ambulation
- Assistance with self-care, such as bathing, dressing, grooming, and using the toilet
- Supervision for those with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia
Medical Equipment at Home
Effective home health care often relies on advanced medical equipment to meet the health and daily needs of patients. Examples of home medical equipment include:
- Oxygen equipment
- Oxygen saturation and blood pressure monitors
- CPAP and BiPAP machines and masks
- Catheters and diapers
- Patient lifts
- Limb supports and braces
- Compression stockings
- Hospital beds
What Does a Home Health Care Provider Do?
Also referred to as domiciliary care workers, home health care providers offer a wide range of essential services. From registered nurses and physical therapists to social workers and personal care aides, home health care providers offer a depth of services to improve the health, comfort, and wellbeing of patients.
The duties of a home health care provider vary based on the unique needs of the patient who needs home health care.
Choosing a qualified home health care professional is important. While it is a caregiver’s duty to ensure patients live in safe and nurturing environment, he or she must also respect and promote the choices and preferences of the patient, providing those choices do not endanger health.
Contact Us Today
If you or someone you love is recovering from a serious illness or injury, home health care can provide the important care you need in the comfort and security of your own home.