What is Home Health Care?
Injuries and illnesses that have a long recovery time and those that are ongoing can put patients in a pickle. You can’t spend your life living in a hospital, but often you continue to need medical care past the point when you’re released.
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are an option, but they’re expensive and for many patients are far more than is needed. You may need some extra help, without needing access to assisted living or health care staff 24 hours a day.
So for seniors who are confident they haven’t reached the point of needing to move into a senior care facility, but know they need more frequent care than periodic trips to the doctor’s office provide, what’s the best option?
What Home Health Care Is
Home health care is, just as the name describes, health care that comes to you in your own home. Anyone that needs regular help from a health care professional, but is housebound or simply can’t make it to the hospital as frequently as needed can hire home health care professionals to provide the help they need.
It’s not specific to seniors, but it’s a very common need seniors encounter and home health care services are a great resource to any seniors hoping to age in place or at least put off the move to a senior care facility for as long as possible.
What Services Are Covered by Home Health Care?
The services provided by home health care vary a lot depending on what you need, who you hire, and how much you pay.
The home health care services that are covered by Medicaid include:
- Wound care
- Intravenous or nutrition therapy
- Patient and caregiver education
- Monitoring of serious illnesses
Home health care professionals can provide many additional services besides those, such as:
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
- Speech/language therapy
- Skilled nursing
- Infusion therapy
- Mental health counseling
- Palliative care
- Pain management
For seniors that need extra help at home that’s not medical, such as aid getting dressed or doing basic around-the-house tasks, then you have additional in-home care options you can consider that will be more affordable than hiring a trained healthcare provider.
How to Find a Home Health Care Provider
If you’ve realized you or a loved one could really use the help of a home health care provider, but don’t know where to look, you can start by doing a search for all available providers in your area.
Read the reviews. Check if any of them specialize in what you need. And get a feel for the different pricing options of each.
You can also ask your doctor if they have any recommendations. Many doctors, especially those who frequently work with senior patients, will have some experience with the home health care companies in the area and may be able to provide a specific referral to someone they know is good.
Finally, take some time to talk to the main companies you’re considering. Get a feel for how they do business and if they sound like they really value their patients and work to provide them everything they need.
Home health care is one of your best options for avoiding remission and staying out of the hospital or other health care facilities for as long as possible. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of it if you need it.