Doctors often prescribe home health care for elderly patients when they transition from hospital to home after surgery, an illness, or an injury. As an informal caregiver, understanding what in-home health care is – and is not – is essential for ensuring that your loved one stays safe and comfortable until they can resume normal activities. If you are an older patient, determining if home healthcare is suitable for you isn’t always easy. No matter your role in the transitional care process, using this guide will help ensure that everyone’s needs are consistently met.
Home Health Care Explained
At its basic level, “home health care” means exactly what it sounds like – medical care provided in a patient’s home. Delivered by highly trained professionals, home health care can include broad care given by skilled medical professionals, including skilled nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.
Home health care can also include skilled, non-medical care, such as medical social services or assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) from a home health aide. The primary goal of in-home healthcare is to facilitate a smooth recovery and prevent hospital readmission.
Depending on the patient’s needs, examples of in-home healthcare services may include:
- Patient and caregiver education
- Intravenous or nutrition therapy
- Wound care for pressure ulcers or a surgical wound
- Physical therapy, speech therapy, or occupational therapy
- Monitoring vitals, a serious illness, or unstable health status
Benefits of In-Home Healthcare
These are some of the advantages as a recipient you might expect when under the care of home healthcare professionals:
Older adults sometimes won’t admit they need help because they are afraid to lose their independence. One of the main benefits of in-home healthcare is that it helps seniors perform everyday tasks such as walking, bathing, dressing, and preparing meals. That way, the seniors can remain in the comfort of their home for as long as possible.
Avoiding unnecessary trips to the hospital also saves money. Home health care can be a real money-saver by delaying or preventing the need for nursing home care or another more intensive type of care. The costs of home health care are typically covered by Medicare, as well as Medicare Advantage payors and private insurance for eligible patients.
In addition to receiving visits from home healthcare professionals, it’s easier for friends and relatives to spend time with an elderly loved one in their private residence versus the hospital or an extended care facility. With no time restrictions or set visiting hours, patients benefit from the social interactions that home health care provides.
Home healthcare patients receive one-on-one attention and a care plan that’s uniquely tailored to their needs. This often makes treatment more effective and builds trust among the patient, informal caregivers, and the home healthcare team.
Quality of care
Yet another benefit of in-home health care is that it is grounded in evidence-based practices and standards of care that ensure patients receive the right care from the right providers at the right time in their homes.
Relief for family caregivers
The pros of home health care also extend to family caregivers. When using a team approach that focuses on coordination of care, home health aides can assist with tasks such as bathing, dressing, medication management, and meal preparation.
In some cases, families turn to home care providers to fill in any remaining caregiving gaps. That not only helps prevent caregiver burnout by relieving some of the burdens but also restores peace of mind knowing their loved one is getting the best care possible even when they aren’t there!
An Extended Family in Your Loved One’s Home
Caring for an aging loved one who’s transitioning from hospital to home can be challenging when you’re busy or live far away. At Adultcare Assistance Homecare, we’d love to have an open dialogue with you about your needs and how we can help your loved one comfortably and affordably age in place. As a locally owned agency with a long track record of success when it comes to senior care and transitional care, our highly trained caregivers can step in and provide your family with the care that’s needed.
Our home care services include respite care, companion care, medication reminders, senior transportation, light housekeeping, 24-hour, live-in assistance, and other forms of senior care. To learn more about our award-winning services now or to get a FREE Home Care Assessment for a senior in Phoenix, Sun City, or Tucson, AZ, today, please visit Adultcare Assistance Homecare at: www.adultassistance.com.