Imagine being admitted to the hospital for a surgery or illness and being sent home without care instructions or help managing your diagnosis or recovery.
That would be stressful and scary, right?
Thankfully, home health care services ease the transition as you adapt to living with your new diagnosis or managing your medical needs. Your physician will order home health for you if you need it. Visiting nurses, aides, and physical or occupational therapists will come to your home (or wherever you live) to ensure you stay as healthy as possible.
It’s a truly beneficial service for a variety of reasons, especially these five.
#1 – Avoid Facilities Transfers
Home health care helps you stay home while you recover, rather than needing to transfer to a facility, such as a rehabilitation center or even a skilled care facility.
For people with private insurance, home health care costs significantly less than higher levels of care, keeping your wallet as full as possible as you regain your health.
Avoiding facilities transfers also means that you can recover where you’re most comfortable and familiar – your own home or even the home of a loved one serving as your temporary caregiver.
#2 – Recover More Quickly
With care from registered nurses or licensed practical nurses, you could recover more quickly from illness, injury, or surgery than through your own personal care alone.
Nurses can help you manage foley catheters, feeding tubes, IV medications, and much more, while aides can assist you with tasks of daily living, such as bathing and dressing.
Some home health agencies may also provide support with meal preparation and light housekeeping, which means you can focus on recuperation rather than managing your household.
#3 – Receive Care Where It’s Most Convenient
For most people, being away from home for medical care is an overwhelming stressor that can put strain on them and their loved ones. Home health care eliminates this stressor because you can stay in your own home.
You might get better sleep in your own bed, enjoy visitors who come to wish you a speedy recovery, and relax in the ways you prefer, such as watching television, reading quietly, or playing games with friends. These activities aren’t always accessible or feasible outside of the home setting.
It’s also incredibly convenient to receive care at home while you recover; there is no need to pack bags, arrange a house or pet sitter, or coordinate travel with loved ones.
#4 – Get Professionally Coordinated Care
Receiving home health care services means medical professionals coordinate your care, and all you have to do is be present for their visits! Home health care not only encompasses nurses and aides who help you heal, but also occupational and physical therapists.
You do not need to leave your home to access these services; your RN case manager will coordinate their schedule and help aggregate information on your recovery to share with your physician. This way, everyone on your medical team is on the same page, and you can be assured an optimal recovery.
#5 – Learn to Manage Your Diagnosis or Use Medical Supplies
If you were discharged from the hospital with a long-term medical device that you rely on, such as a catheter, feeding tube, or colostomy bag, learning how to use these supplies can be difficult and intimidating.
If these are long-term necessities, your home health nurse can help you adapt to life with them, including showing you how to empty them, clean them, or use them, and the safety precautions you should take with them to help prevent infection or injury. In this way, you become an expert in your condition and your needs.
A Few Important Things to Know about Home Health Services
Before pursuing home health care services, you should know a few very important things about it.
- In the United States, Medicare or Medicaid tend to cover these services if they are medically necessary.
- Private insurance may cover these services if they are medically necessary. Be sure to check with your carrier.
- A physician must order home health services; you can, however, express your preference for the agency.
- Home health care is not the same as private duty care; home health care team members visit on a schedule that is determined based on your medical needs. Private duty caregivers, on the other hand, visit based on a mutually agreed-upon schedule. However, insurance does not cover private duty care because it does not include medical care. It does include assistance with tasks of daily living, meal preparation, housekeeping, companionship, pet care, transportation, and more.