Learning the Basics of Home Health Care
What is home health care and why do senior patients need it? In home care refers to a wide variety of health care services that are provided at the home of the patient. To most seniors, this is a better option than staying in a nursing home or extending their stay in a hospital, because it is often more convenient, less expensive, and just as effective. This is why many seniors with an illness or injury and who wish to be treated in a more familiar surrounding choose home health care. With home health care, not only will they get better more quickly, they can also regain their independence and be as self-sufficient as possible.
Home health care includes such services as skilled nursing care, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, medical social services and home health aid.
Here are some of the more specific home healthcare services that you can receive:
-Wound care for surgical wound or pressure sores
-Patient and caregiver education
-Intravenous or nutrition therapy
-Monitoring unstable health conditions and serious illnesses
-Assistance with some of the basic daily activities such as bathing, dressing, using the bathroom, eating and getting in and out of bed
-Assistance with light housekeeping, cooking, laundry, and shopping
What is Home Health Care and What Should You Expect from It?
An in home care agency can come to your home to discuss your needs and ask you some important things about your health conditions. A staff from the home health agency will also discuss your care plan with your physician and keep him updated about your improvement. And because doctor’s orders are required prior to care, a staff member must continue to see you as often as your doctor orders.
Some of the duties of a home health staff member include:
-Checking your temperature, blood pressure, breathing, and heart rate.
-Checking the food you’re eating and drinking.
-Ensuring that you’re taking your prescriptions and treatments correctly.
-Ensuring your safety in the home.
-Teaching you how to care for yourself
-Coordinating your care by regularly communicating with you, your physician, and with every one providing you care.
What is a Home Health Care Plan?
Your home health care plan is developed through the coordination of the home health agency staff and your physician. The care plan includes written home health services’ orders from your physician and the recommended treatments based on your health condition.
It is the responsibility of the home health team to keep your physician informed of your condition and update your care plan whenever necessary. You can be involved in the development of your care plan. However, it is the sole responsibility of your physician to authorize the services you need and for how long you will need them.
A typical care plan includes the following:
-The type of services you need
-The health care professionals qualified to provide those services
-How long you require these services
-The medical equipment you need
-Your physician’s expected results from such treatment
The home health agency must also provide you with the type of home health care services and medical supplies listed in your care plan. In order to meet your needs, the agency may provide these services through their own staff or in coordination with another agency.
Your physician and home health agency staff will study and review your plan as often as necessary. Should there be any changes in your health, it is the responsibility of your home health staff to inform your physician as soon as possible. Your care plan will then be reviewed and modified as needed. If you have any question about your plan of care, or if you think your needs are not being met, you can schedule an appointment with your physician and your home health agency representative.
The home health agency staff will instruct you as well as those helping you such as your family and friends to continue whatever care you still need, including therapy, wound care, and teach you the best way to manage your health condition. Some of the problems you should learn to recognize are shortness of breath or infection. You must also learn how to handle these issues and know the best persons to contact in case they occur.