Understanding the Essentials: What is Home Health Care?
There are many benefits to in home care. Home health care makes it possible for individuals who are recovering from injuries or managing acute or chronic health conditions, to heal where they want to be – at home. The significant factor of receiving care at home depends on the level of need by a person. For example, does one need companionship services or nursing services? In home care assistance allows family caregivers to balance their other life priorities like work, child care, spousal relationships, and more time for themselves.
In this article, we uncover what home health care is and the many benefits that it offers to clients and their families.
What is Home Health Care?
What is home health care? Home health care is a broad sector that encompasses a range of services provided to individuals in their own homes, rather than in a hospital or a long-term care facility. This type of care can be beneficial for those recovering from illness or surgery, individuals with chronic illnesses, those with mobility or cognitive challenges, or elderly individuals who require assistance to remain in their homes.
Embracing the Benefits
The benefits of home health care are multi-faceted, promising an in home approach to the recovery journey. Here are some of the top benefits:
- Familiarity and Comfort: Research has shown that patients experience emotional relief and faster recovery when surrounded by familiar surroundings.
- Personalized Care: Home health care tailors its services to the unique needs of each individual, fostering a higher quality of care and attention.
- Upholding Independence: Patients can maintain their independence while still receiving essential medical attention.
- Cost-Efficiency: Home health care often proves to be more economical than prolonged hospital stays.
- A Network of Support: Families become integral to the care process, forging a powerful support system.
What Home Health Care Services Offer
The services can vary based on the needs of the patient and the specific agency’s offerings. Here are some of the essential aspects of home health care:
Skilled Nursing Care: Vacuum-assisted closure therapy (Wound Vac), Ostomy care and education, Blood Draws when combined with other skilled care, Gastric feeding via G-Tube/NGT/PEG, Catheter insertion and monitoring, Tracheostomy care, and much more.
Physical Therapy: Home health physical therapy services can vastly improve a wide variety of conditions, restoring maximum functionality, and reducing pain. Physical therapy can help with:
- Back Pain
- Joint Disorders
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Stroke & Brain Injury
Occupational Therapy: When daily activities become a struggle, our medical affiliate Health Care Connectors can provide an occupational therapist to provide intervention techniques that allow our patients to move more effectively and independently. Occupational therapy can include:
- Safety at Home
- Self-care Following a Stroke
- Strengthening of Motor Skills
Speech Therapy: Speech therapists can help with a wide range of conditions. They often work with patients, caregivers, and physicians to improve:
- Safe Swallowing
Home Health Aide Services: Aides assist with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as ambulation, personal hygiene maintenance, instrumental ADLs like meal preparation, facilitate transfers using assistive devices, and provide toileting and continence care.
Medical Social Services: Medical social workers help connect you and your caregivers with the community resources you need such as:
- Community Agency Referrals
- Independent Living Resources
- Long-term Care Planning
- Crisis Intervention
Home Health Monitoring: Use of telemonitoring devices for real-time monitoring of vitals, blood pressure, oxygen levels, or blood glucose metrics, with synchronous communication to healthcare professionals for acute interventions.
Companion Services: We believe in the importance of social interaction and that is why we help clients maintain familiar routines and daily structure with companionship services in Connecticut. This reduces the anxiety and behavior issues that often accompany loneliness or depression.
In-home caregivers actively engage clients in:
- Art Projects
- Supervised Walks
What To Know About Home Health Care and Medicare
Medicare is a U.S. federal health insurance program primarily for individuals who are 65 or older, though it also covers some younger people with disabilities. Regarding home health care, Medicare coverage has specific criteria and benefits. Here’s a detailed look at eligibility requirements and what Medicare may cover according to the Medicare website:
All people with Part A and/or Part B who meet all of these conditions are covered:
- You must be under the care of a doctor, and you must be getting services under a plan of care created and reviewed regularly by a doctor.
- You must need, and a doctor must certify that you need, one or more of these:
- Intermittent skilled nursing care (other than drawing blood).
- Physical therapy, speech-language pathology, or continued occupational therapy services. These services are covered only when the services are specific, safe and an effective treatment for your condition. The amount, frequency and time period of the services needs to be reasonable, and they need to be complex or only qualified therapists can do them safely and effectively. To be eligible, either: 1) your condition must be expected to improve in a reasonable and generally predictable period of time, or 2) you need a skilled therapist to safely and effectively make a maintenance program for your condition, or 3) you need a skilled therapist to safely and effectively do maintenance therapy for your condition.
- You must be homebound, and a doctor must certify that you’re homebound.
In addition to part-time or intermittent skilled nursing care, Medicare may cover additional home health services for eligible patients as well. These services include:
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech-language pathology services
- Medical social services
- Part-time or intermittent home health aide care (only if you’re also getting other skilled services like nursing and/or therapy at the same time)
- Injectable osteoporosis drugs for women
- Durable medical equipment
- Medical supplies for use at home
Selecting Your Home Health Care Provider
Home health care has emerged as a leading alternative to traditional care options providing not just medical attention, but a comprehensive support system that fosters emotional and physical well-being. Individuals can experience healing and recovery by embracing the concept of care in familiar surroundings, tailored to unique needs, and backed by technology.
Selecting the right home healthcare provider is a decision of paramount importance. Keep these factors in mind:
- Experience and Credentials: Opt for providers with a proven track record and necessary accreditations.
- Tailored Services: Ensure the provider offers the specific services that cater to your loved one’s needs and implement their plan of care.
- Heeding Reviews: Seek out reviews and testimonials to gauge the provider’s reputation.
- Personalized Care Plans: A reputable provider crafts care plans that are finely tuned to individual requirements.
- Technological Integration: Ensure the provider has up-to-date technological systems in place for proper communication, scheduling of caregivers, and telemonitoring devices.
As you consider transitioning from hospital care to home health care, remember that the choice you make matters. Connect with Home Care Connectors, your dedicated partners in this journey to recovery. Our seasoned team is committed to ensuring a seamless transition, laying the foundation for an improved quality of life post-hospitalization.