Home Health Care Services
Home health care services can help people manage illnesses or injuries at home, rather than in a hospital. They can also support the transition from hospital to home after a stay for surgery or illness, or after a stroke or accident. A range of services are available, including nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Many home health care providers are working with hospitals to reduce avoidable hospital readmissions, says Yount.
Medical home health care, sometimes called skilled nursing or home healthcare, is supervised by a doctor and provides wound care and physical, occupational and speech therapy. It can also include injections and dietary consultations.
Non-medical home health care includes assistance with daily activities such as bathing, dressing and meal preparation. It can also involve transportation to physician appointments, shopping and housekeeping. These services can help older adults continue to live independently in their own homes or in an assisted living or residential care facility, memory care community or home health agency.
Some people need home health care services after a hospital stay to manage chronic conditions like arthritis or to recover from surgery. Others are unable to leave their homes because they are too sick, injured or frail. These home healthcare services can be provided by a nurse, physical therapist or social worker, and may be covered by Medicare, private insurance or long-term care insurance.
Caregiving can be challenging for families, who often have full-time jobs and children to care for. A home health care service can relieve stress and give family members peace of mind that a loved one is being well taken care of. It is important to find a reputable agency that has a thorough orientation and ongoing training for caregivers. It is also vital to find an agency that performs extensive background checks on all employees, ensuring they are free of felonies, misdemeanors and driving violations.
In addition to providing home health care, some agencies can make home modifications that can help a person stay in their own home. They can install a ramp or a new bathroom that is wheelchair accessible, for example. They can also provide medical supplies and equipment, such as oxygen.
Finding a good home health care agency starts with getting referrals from family and friends. Ask about the quality of services they have received and whether they can recommend their home healthcare provider. Then look for an agency that has a good reputation in the community and offers a wide range of services, such as caregiving, nursing and home health aides. Finally, compare prices to see what you are getting for your money. The best home health care agencies will be transparent about their fees and costs. They will provide you with a written agreement with the terms of the care they will provide. This can help you understand the cost of care and prevent any surprises down the road.