What is Home Health Care?

What is home health care? This is an excellent question and deserves a thoughtful answer. In truth, many people are not exactly sure what home health care really is. Let’s see if we can shed some light on this topic.

It can be health care that is brought into the home or provided at an assisted living facility. Yes, it can be both. Let’s look at those provided in a home.

Maybe all that is needed is a person who comes in to cook and clean. Or, someone can stop by with the mail, water the plants, feed a pet and visit for a short time. A nurse, perhaps, may be needed to set up and/or administer drugs or medications, give baths and carry out other duties usually performed by a nurse. Home health care can include physical therapists who come into your home to prepare the patient to become more mobile. The scope of home health care is vast.

Who benefits from this kind of care? Aside from assistant living facilities, many patients benefit from getting health care in their homes rather than in a nursing home or hospital. Nobody likes being sick. To be sick and not be in the comforts of your own home makes getting better much more difficult. Just being in your own bed, surrounded by your own things, adds enormously to the recovery time needed to go from unwell to well.

But, what kind of patients benefit from home health care? Those with chronic or acute health problems, including disabilities and terminal illnesses. At home, family members can play a part, sometimes the most important part, in a patient’s care team. It’s not just the doctors and health care agency personnel that aid in patient care; members of a patient’s family and extended-family members can make all the difference in a patient’s recovery or remaining time.

Who are these health care people? These providers range from public ones to nonprofit and to private ones. Payments to these providers range from private payments to health insurance payments to Medicaid and Medicare. Investigate carefully the health care insurance program you decide on and sign up with; not all these programs will cover all the different kinds of home health care services you might need.

When you do decide on engaging home health care personnel, perform background checks, make sure precautions are put into place against infection and for sure don’t let advantages be taken of the patient involved. Everything that is done — shopping, errands, housekeeping, bathing, medications, meal preparation, clothing — is being done to either get the patient well or give the patient his or her highest quality of life.

What is home health care? It’s a time in your life which feels like you are on a rocky road because your loved one is sick or dying. You want what’s best for this loved one. Sometimes that means not caring for him or her in your home, but placing this unwell person in an assisted living facility where you can visit and make sure all that is needed is done. Home health care at such a facility can be as good as health care given at home. No matter where the care is given, what matters is your involvement. Stay involved and your home health care will be a success.