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Home Health Care: All You Need to Know

For people who are working jobs or frequently have to travel, it becomes very difficult for them to take of their sick loved ones. Due to this, a lot of sick people remain uncared for and perish day in and day out due to unintentional negligence. In order to resolve this growing problem, there are medical services called home health care services that look after your loved ones when you’re not present.

What is home health care?

Home health care is essentially a wide range of health care services that can be given to a patient at home for particular illnesses or injuries. Home health care is usually a lot less expensive as compared to standard medical care, a lot more convenient, and is just as efficient as a skilled nursing facility (SNF) or regular care at the hospital.

What does a skilled home health care service include?

The main aim of home health care is to help you get better, gain back your independence and eventually, become as self-sufficient as possible. Here are a few services that come under skilled home health care:

  • Patient and caregiver education
  • Wound care for pressure sores and/or a surgical wound
  • Injections
  • Intravenous/nutrition therapy
  • Monitoring of serious ailments and an unstable health status

What do home health care services cover?

Medical insurance is mainly divided into two broad categories: Medicare Part (A), better known as the hospital insurance, and Medicare Part (B) termed as the medical insurance.

Both of these insurances cover general health services like:

  • Physical therapy
  • Intermittent skilled nursing care
  • Continued occupational services
  • Language-speech pathology services, and more

In most cases, your home health service agency and staff will be constantly in coordination with your doctor regarding your medical requirements.

However, you should still have knowledge of what Medicare doesn’t pay for.

  • Meals delivered at home
  • 24-hour long health care at home
  • Personal care
  • Homemaker services

Who is eligible for availing home health care?

All people with a Part A and/or Part B Medicare insurance, as well as the factors listed below, are eligible for home health care services:

  • You must be under the care of a certified doctor, and you must be availing your medical treatment under a plan of care reviewed and established regularly by the doctor.
  • You must be homebound, and your doctor must certify that you are homebound
  • The home health care agency must be one that is recognized by Medicare, i.e. Medicare certified
  • You must surely need, or have a doctor declare that you need one or more of these services:
  • Occasional skilled nursing care, for things other than just drawing blood
  • Speech-language pathology, physical therapy or continued occupational services; only done when the services are specific in nature and are considered to be a safe and valid treatment for your condition.

A person is considered ineligible for home health care services if they need more than an intermittent or part-time skilled nursing care. However, you can still get health care at home if you attend adult day care. Or else, you can opt for hospitalized care, and come home for important occasions like religious days, festivals, etc.

How does one opt for home health care?

To start home health care, you need to have your doctor’s permission. Once your doctor approves you for home health care, the home care agency calls you to set up an appointment at your house. Once in your house, they talk to you about your health and your needs from the agency.

The agency staff and your doctor will be in constant cahoots regarding your health and recovery, and it is imperative that the health care staff sees you as many times as prescribed by the doctor.

What to expect from your home health care staff?

The home health care services provided by the agency are supposed to perform their tasks and duties keeping in mind the specific set of instructions given by your doctor. But just to prepare yourself beforehand, here is a list of services that you can expect from your home health care staff:

  • Keep a track of your blood pressure, temperature, breathing, and heart rate.
  • Check what you are eating and drinking for each meal
  • Make sure that you are taking your prescriptions, other drugs and any other treatments carefully and correctly.
  • Look out for your safety in the house
  • Keep checking on you for any signs of pain
  • Teach you to take of yourself on your own, so that eventually you are able to do it all by yourself
  • Coordinate with the major stakeholders regarding your care, i.e. talk to you, your doctor and anyone else who is responsible for taking care of you

There are numerous new agencies that have come up in the recent times, due to the surge in home health care requirements. Moreover, with the advancements in technology, there are several home health care facilities that give the family members of the patient mobile updates from time to time, along with reminder alerts and other digital services.

So in case you’re in need of someone to taking care of your loved ones at home, going for home health care services is one of the most convenient and cheapest options available.

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• Meet the Author • Dr. Lawrence Kindo

I am a Medical Professional with a passion for writing, blogging, playing, computers, and of course patient care. My writing in this medical blog will reflect my passion, and you are welcome to be a part of this venture. This medical blog is a tribute to all the great medical pioneers, and to the ultimate source of wisdom, God.

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