how does home health care work

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what is home health care?

Home health care includes a range of services that are provided in the home to help a person overcome illness or injury. This is provided to patients who for any reason are homebound and are unable to leave their home without assistance. Home health care can be provided anywhere be it the home of the patient, an assisted living residential facility for seniors, or a long-term nursing home. 

who provides home health care?

After being ordered by your doctor, you can avail of home health care directly from your hospital or licensed healthcare agencies. These professionals generally offer health care at home:

  • Registered nurses: Registered nurses are trained to help you get post-treatment care that includes your exercise, daily nutrition, medications, etc. 
  • Home health aides: Home health aides are experienced and trained to monitor the overall health of their patients and detect any undesirable side effects or symptoms. They also offer emergency medical care when needed. 
  • Therapists: Therapists are professionals who offer specialised services depending on the requirement of the patient. These include speech therapists (to help patients regain their speech post a stroke or injury), occupational therapists (to help with the cognitive development of the patients), and physical therapists (to help the patient regain movement).

who can benefit from home health care?

Contrary to the popular notion that home health care services are only for seniors and elderly people, younger people and children can also benefit from it. People eligible for home health care include”

  • People who have an overall fragile disposition and have difficulty travelling back and forth from the clinic or hospital.
  • A person, young or old, recovering from a serious injury that has severely debilitated her/his movement. 
  • People with temporary or permanent physical disabilities and cannot look after their daily healthcare needs. 
  • People with neurological ailments like Alzheimer’s disease, depression, etc. that impact their safety and the ability to take care of their health. 
  • People recovering from major surgeries. 
  • Elderly patients who have been discharged from a hospital stay and need medical monitoring.
  • Senior patients whose health and bodily functions are seeing a decline and could benefit from home health care nursing to regain health and independence. 

what does home health care include? 

Home health care includes a wide spectrum of services depending on the requirement of the patient and her/his health condition. In India, home health care generally includes:

  • Doctor care: This includes the doctor’s visits to your home to assess and treat your health condition. 
  • Nursing care: In home health care, nursing is a common component where the nurse offers a range of healthcare services. These include administering medicines, intravenous therapies, pain management, dressing of the wounds, etc. 
  • Therapies: Home health care includes several types of therapies depending on the need of the patients. These needs could range from physical, speech, or occupational. The therapist may help you regain your speech after an illness or injury, your muscular and joint strength, and overall social, emotional, physical, and developmental disabilities. 
  • Nutritional care: This includes a dietician coming to your house to provide diet plans and monitoring what you are drinking and eating. 
  • Testing and pharmaceutical services: This includes conducting tests like those of the blood and urine at home without the patient having to travel to a lab. Lab technicians may also use portable X-Ray machines to get X-Rays at your home. In certain cases, medical equipment for self-dialysis, oxygen support, intravenous therapies, etc. may be provided at your home along with training on how to use them effectively. 

how does home health care work?

Many people wonder about the efficacy of health care delivered at home vis-a-vis getting treated in a hospital. Here is answering the very common question of ‘how does home health care work’:

  • The first step is to get your doctor’s orders that make you eligible for home health care. 
  • Contact a licensed home health care company. You may ask your doctor for recommendations since it is always better to go with referrals.
  • Complete your initial assessment with the company for it to decide your detailed treatment plan. This entails discussing your medical history and ongoing treatments for getting the best possible & comprehensive home health care plan. 
  • Cooperate with the healthcare professional visiting your house and participate in the planning process. If the patient is unable to play an active role, her/his caregivers (family members or friends) are communicated with. 

benefits of home health care services

The foremost benefit of home health care is that it can be delivered directly to the patient. It has several other important advantages that include:

  • Home health care can drastically cut down on expensive hospital bills. 
  • The patient need not travel to the clinic or the hospital for her/his check-ups. This leads to saving of time and extra monies that you would’ve spent in transportation. 
  • The services that you get are completely customised as per your needs, budget, and home setup.
  • The patients are protected from the risk of infections that are otherwise rampant in hospitals and clinics.
  • Receiving care in your home and health services at your doorstep reduces the stress to a great extent. The familiarity of surroundings and availability of known faces around you greatly increases your ability to relax while receiving the treatment. 
  • Getting health care at home relieves your family and caregivers who may or may not be trained in administering medications and treatments. 
  • You can access a range of services right in the comfort of your home like medication management, dressing of wounds, intravenous therapy, exercise, nutrition, etc. 
  • There are fewer complications arising out of fatigue, risk of falls in older adults, etc. when a patient is being treated at home. This increases the safety of the patient and the efficacy of the treatment. 
  • Since there is continuous monitoring of the patient’s condition, any anomalies in the condition, abnormal symptoms, and side effects are quickly arrested and corrective action is provided immediately. 
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