Home Care Services

Elderly Couple

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Baby Boomers Aging and Home Care Services

As baby boomers age, home health agencies are a growing business. Many seniors have health problems that require qualified care givers but they are not ill enough to be in the hospital and do not want to live in a nursing home. Families quite often take over this responsibility, but when family members work this can become quite a burden. Plus, not everyone has a family member or they may be located in another state. Therefore, home health agencies are filling in the gap in many situations.

Types of Home Care Services

Types of skilled in home care services:

  • · Occupational therapy
  • · Speech and language therapist
  • · Wound care, which can be for surgical wounds or pressure sores
  • · Intravenous therapy, typically for antibiotics, or injections
  • · Physical therapy
  • · Respiratory therapist
  • · Wound care therapist
  • · Home care nursing care to monitor unstable health status

Goal for Home Health Care Agencies

The whole goal of home health care services is to allow a patient to remain at home after a surgery or hospitalization and still receive excellent care. The types of care a patient can receive range from medical care to cooking and cleaning. Some patients may require home health aides to help them with their activities of daily living. Patients may receive medical, dental or nursing care all in their homes. Additionally, home care services are not just for adults. Pediatric care is also available when needed.

Ill in Bed

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Overview of Services

Some of the things a home health aide can do include bathing, dressing, eating, and using the bathroom and other personal needs. In addition, aides will do laundry, lighthouse work, shopping, taking the patient to the doctor and cooking. A patient must be homebound to receive this care.

Patient records are kept in the home for the patient and family, plus most home care agencies keep electronic records in order to communicate the patient’s progress with the ordering doctor. Medical equipment and supplies are ordered as needed.

Accreditation and Cost

Home health care agencies are typically accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC). They provide around the clock care seven days a week as necessary. All staff is state licensed according to their credentials. Good home health care agencies are very aware of the importance of continuity of care. This is particularly important for an elderly, confused patient or even a child. Seeing the same staff repeatedly so a good working relationship can be established is comforting.

By receiving health care in the home, overall healthcare cost is reduced as compared to being in the hospital or nursing home. Some health insurance policies will pay for this care, but other times the patient has to pay, which can be costly. The third party payers that cover home health care are Medicaid, Medicare, the Veteran’s Administration, some private insurance companies and some Social Service block grant programs.

As a Caregiver

As a care giver for my mother, who is 91 years of age, I am aware of some of the problems that are faced by families. I am fortunate that my mother has no signs of dementia, but there are certainly other physical problems to consider. My mother has lived in our home for the past 10 years.

We have been in the position of using home health care services when she fell and broke her hip last year, and on other occasions. They have made my life much easier during those times, which is why I decided to write about this topic. My mother has a prosthetic leg due to a botched surgery a few years ago. Physical therapists have worked with her and she is walking with a walker quite well. She had this experience after losing her leg and again after breaking her hip.

I cannot emphasize enough the benefits of physical therapy. They can treat numerous problems in the body, and they also can sometimes prevent surgery. They can also lessen pain over the course of your treatment.


Tips for Caring for Seniors

Summary

With an aging population, many people have to make choices concerning their parents. Some of the considerations are certainly their financial situation, having a living will and a power of attorney, and most importantly their wishes as to how they would like to live the last years of their lives. These family decisions face many people today and it is good to be well informed as to your options.

© 2012 Pamela Oglesby

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Comments 26 comments

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

Pamela, they sure can, as they even helped me in June, as I had developed large blood clots in both lungs after surgery, and we live between two large cities in a small town, both about an hour away. I work in one of the cities during the week. But anyway, in lieu of me having to drive an hour to the hospital just to have my PT INR levels checked every week, the doctor called in Home Health. It was such a blessing not having to drive an hour just to have my finger pricked to do the test. I felt sort of strange, as I thought, oh no, am I old enough that home health has to come to my home already!!! Yikes LOL How humbling, but a real blessing. I did not realize they would come for someone like me and my age, but I was so thankful to say the least. Voted Way Up In His Love, Faith Reaper


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

It's so important for families to know that these nursing homes are not the only option, but that there is help for those who want to be in their homes. While each situation has its own individual circumstances, home health care is a far better option when possible. So glad to see info on this topic being posted for families.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Faith, I am glad you had such a positive experience. You sure had an awful complication to your surgery and I am glad you seem to have recovered. Home health will even come for children. I appreciate your comments and the sharing of your experience.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

RTalloni, I agree. I do not want to end up in a nursing home either if I have a better option. Thanks so much for your comments.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Overworked, underpaid, and under-appreciated....and where would we be without them? Great hub my friend!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Billy, Where would we be without them indeed. Thanks so much for your comments.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

I would opt for home health care any day to nursing home care, if possible. Your post is going to help many know this option is a good alternative. Voted up.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Dianna, I would too. I sure hope this post will get the word out. Thanks so much for your comments.


JCielo profile image

JCielo 4 years ago from England

With an ageing population putting an increasing strain on hospital beds and other resources it seems to me that we will see more and more older folks being cared for at home where appropriate. Really good hub. Voted up and useful.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

JCielo, I think your comment is true as it certainly makes sense. Thank you for your comments.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

We just finished using a home health care service for PT and it was wonderful.Thank you for sharing Pam..


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Pamela....excellent work on such an important topic. More and more people are needing and using these health care services....and thank heaven they are available. I don't know what some families would do with out them! UP++


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Ruby, I am glad you had a positive experience also as it seems home health care is sure going to be a growing industry. Thanks for sharing your experience and your comments.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Paula, They are really filling in the gap. Thanks so much for your comments.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

Great subject to write about. Finally insurance companies are realizing home health care saves them money and is so much easier on the person needing it. No strange place to deal with when you can stay in your own home. They certainly do "fill the gap" as you say.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

tillsontitan, I am glad insurance companies will pay also as it would not be affordable for many people. It does save them money. Thanks for your comments.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts

This is a great informative hub on health care for the elderly, did you know that you can also get a PCA (personal care attendant) to help to care for your mom has well. Check out my hub on that if you would like more information on that(What is The PCA Program And Do You Have One In Your State) .

Well done and vote up and more !!!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Kashmir, I will check out your hub. She is not totally home bond yet, so I didn't think we qualified. She can also take care of her daily needs, just not cooking, cleaning, and that sort of thing. She has good and bad days right now, but it may be we will need some help in the future. Thanks for your comments.


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

I would choose home health care over a nursing home. Great hub it is important that people know that there are alternatives to opt for.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Rosemary, I would make the same choice. Thank you so much for your comments.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

Great article about the many services that Home Health Care Agencies provide.

This is a comprehensive, easy to read primer for anyone who doesn't know the kind of help that's available through these agencies.

I recently read that there's been a big change in Medicare's coverage of physical therapy so that many chronic conditions can now be covered longer as it's no longer necessary to prove that a patient will get stronger, but rather, maintaining strength and endurance can be considered a covered goal. That's very good news for people who have degenerative and chronic diseases.

Voted up across the board except for funny. Also shared.

Hub Hugs,

Gail


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA

I use to do in home care for the elderly. I agree that home heath care can have many benefits verses being in a nursing home. One of the things that I found was many of my clients liked the idea of still being independent while having someone around to help them. I like the idea that I didn't need a lot of schooling to do it. I loved to listen to the stories that my clients had to share. Great hub! I would recomment this to anyone looking at placement for their loved one.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Gail, I am in physical therapy right now for a torn rotator cuff, which should make it possible for me to avoid surgery. I am glad to see these changes. I appreciate all your comments. Thanks for your comments and the share. Hub hugs for your too.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

tipoague, Talking to older people and listening to their stories can be a delight. I worked in home health care also and really loved it. I think it is healthier for someone to be in their own home if possible. They are certainly happier. Thanks so much for your comments.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida

Before my parents became totally unable to care for themselves they both had home health cares personnel who came in and took care of many of their physical needs. We were so fortunate as the individuals who cared for them were compassionate and did not give the impression they wanted to hurry up and leave They had a long drive to my parent's home as they lived 20 miles from the nearest town in a remote part of Florida. thank you Pamela for sharing this. Sending Angels to you and wishes for a lovely Christmas. :) ps


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

pstraubie, It is so nice to hear such about such a positive experience. Thank you so much for your comments. I love the Angels and sending them your way also. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas also.

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