Are Home Health Care Services Just for the Elderly?
It’s expected that 23.5% of America’s population in 2060 will be aged 65 and older. One of the services helping keep the elderly alive and well is in home health care services. These services ensure they receive their medication, assistance in daily activities, and necessary medical support.
But is a home health service only for your elderly loved ones? Much of the advertising around home health services gears itself toward individuals at least 65 years of age, but they can be helpful services for many people.
We’ve provided an in-depth guide on the benefits of home health services and how they’re helpful for various ages. Keep reading to find out more.
What is Home Health Care?
At-home healthcare services offer patients specialized medical care to ensure their health and wellbeing. These health services are completed by teams of nurses and therapists.
Home health care services differ from generic in-home care services because they focus on patients with serious illnesses, medical conditions, and physical injuries. Generic in-home service providers are not licensed to provide medical aid.
Specific services included in at-home care include:
- Medication management
- Physical therapy
- Wound care
- Nutrition therapy
In some cases, home health service providers also offer in-depth education for the caretakers of the patient. They’re excellent educational resources for families.
Benefits of Home Health Care
There are many benefits to hiring a home health aide. One of the obvious ones is the peace that comes with knowing your loved one is being monitored and cared for by a trained professional.
If you live in a rural area or don’t own reliable transportation, you’ll benefit from home health care services because they come to you! There will be no more driving your loved one to frequent doctor visits.
Patients receiving home health care receive greater care and attention than those in a busy hospital. This can result in quicker healing times.
Those receiving care at home also gain their independence and self-sufficiency back much quicker than those staying for long periods of time at the hospital. Independence is key to boosting someone’s confidence and quality of life.
Who Can Receive Home Health Services?
In-home care isn’t only for the elderly, but there are rules and regulations for receiving regular in-home health services.
The first step to receiving home care is by getting approval from a doctor. A doctor must guarantee your loved ones qualifies for home health care. You’ll also need to prove that your loved one needs intermittent care, not just occasional care.
When visiting a doctor, advocate for yourself or your loved one. Be transparent about any unseen difficulties your doctor doesn’t see from the outside.
Depending on the specific service provider you reach out to, there might be other rules. Inquire about a provider’s specific rules while making arrangements.
Physician Home Calls vs. Home Health Nurses
When your loved one starts receiving home health services, they may run into a few different types of professionals. Who they see depends on whether the visit is a physician’s home call or a visit from a nurse/therapist.
Physician Home Calls
During a physician home call, the physician visits your loved one within their home. The physician, more than likely, is employed by either a nearby practice or an agency.
A home doctor’s visit guarantees your loved one is receiving the care they need when they aren’t able to make it outside of the home.
In-home physician care also offers progress reports, possible diagnoses, and monitoring. Plus, you’ll save money by not having to drive to the doctor!
Schedule monthly meetings with the physician. This ensures the patient’s progress is observed and tracked.
Home Health Nursing Services
If your loved one is receiving home health nursing services, they should expect visits from nurses and/or therapists.
Nurses are medical professionals aiding the patient in carrying out the physician’s plan. They’ll also provide any important updates and act as a mode of communication between the doctor and patient.
In-home care nurses often work with the elderly, but they also work with kids with disabilities or young adults with extreme illnesses.
Duties for at-home nurses include:
- Taking vitals
- Distributing medication
- Tracking progress
- Carrying out special doctor’s orders
Health aides are individuals who often provide medical care to children with disabilities and adults with physical limitations. In most circumstances, they’re employed by agencies.
Much like a nurse, they’re able to offer medication management and assistance with personal hygiene. They often don’t perform as in-depth procedures as nurses, but they do follow the guidelines of the physician’s plan of care.
Paying for Home Health Care
While any age can receive at-home healthcare, many people feel they are held back by the price.
We acknowledge home health services come with a large price tag, but there are several ways you can pay for these services.
Some families are able to pay out-of-pocket for home services. Others work out payment plans with the providers.
You may also pay for home health services through a public or private third party. Never hesitate to reach out to a service provider to inquire about payment plans and other ways they receive payment.
Using Medicare to Pay
Patients are able to use Medicare to pay for in-home care, but they must meet a few requirements.
A doctor must mark the patient as “homebound.” This means the patient is not able to leave the home for healthcare services.
The patient must also require intermittent or part-time care and monitoring by a professional medical team in order to treat or slow down the progression of their current condition.
And in addition to a doctor marking the patient as “homebound,” the patient also has to be actively under the care of the doctor making that call. Save proof of appointments and all other important medical documentation.
Limitations of In-Home Health Services
There are limitations you must know before hiring a medical in-home health service. The first one is: They’re only able to perform tasks that are medical necessities.
Your medical at-home care team is unable to perform daily non-medical tasks with your loved one. These non-medical tasks include:
- Running errands
- Picking up groceries
- Caring for the patient’s pets
- Making the bed
- Cooking food
If you do need someone to assist your loved one with these tasks, consider hiring a home aide. A home aide is almost like a personal assistant!
Choosing a Provider
Has your family received the word that you’re able to hire an at-home health care service provider? It’s important to select the right one!
One of the most important qualities to look for when selecting someone is a strong focus on patient-centered care. The team you hire needs to be focused on providing top-notch care while making the patient feel appreciated.
Avoid services that feel like they’re in it for the money. These companies will make decisions without consulting your loved one and family, and they’ll neglect the needs of the patient.
Inquire about a consultation or initial meeting before making a final decision.
Coming Together as a Team
Once you hire someone to care for your loved one, you’re becoming a team. Everyone must work together to provide quality care.
Build a strong team by being transparent about your loved one’s health concerns and any habits that are hindering their progress. Hiding concerns will only worsen the condition.
Listen to the doctor’s orders once they put a plan into place. Chat with your fellow medical “team members” about how to best follow the plan when they’re not with you.
Use your team as an educational resource. They’re available to provide information and support for your loved one’s medical needs.
Relay information from the medical professionals on your team to your loved one, especially if your loved one wasn’t involved in an important discussion or decision.
Home Health Care: Whom Is It Really For?
Home health care services are a useful tool for patients unable to leave their place of residence. Many times, a serious condition or illness results in a patient not being able to travel to a doctor’s office or hospital.
If you’re wondering whom health care services are for, they’re not just for the elderly. They’re for a whole array of people, including children with disabilities or severely injured adults. Chat with your doctor about eligibility for an in-home plan.
Are you located in the Toledo or Findlay area and require home health services? You can trust Med1Care. Click here to fill out our new patient assessment form.