All About Alaska Daily News

What Is Home Health Care Personal Care

Aug 16

Home health care is medical services provided at home for patients who are homebound due to illness, injury or chronic disease. It is usually less expensive and more convenient than hospital stays.

Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance plans often cover the cost of home health care. If services are not covered, the home health agency will advise you of alternative payment avenues.

Skilled Care

The care that Northeast Ohio Home Health Care employees provide is called "skilled care." It includes services like wound care, injections, and physical, occupational and speech therapy that must be prescribed by a doctor.

These professionals get to know their patients well in a familiar environment and can often spot issues that may not be obvious to others. For example, a nurse can notice if a patient doesn’t have enough food or safety hazards in the house.

Medical home health care is typically covered by Medicare, although it may not be as comprehensive as what you receive in a nursing home or long-term care facility. Non-medical home care, like helping with bathing or meal preparation, does not qualify for Medicare coverage. Some home healthcare agencies also offer personal care assistance.

Personal Care

Home health care employees often provide personal care, such as bathing and grooming. The goal of this is to help patients maintain their dignity and independence. In addition, staff members might assist a patient with using a bedpan or urinal, and they can also help patients prepare food for meals.

Most home health agencies are licensed by their state and seek additional accreditation to demonstrate quality standards. They do preemployment and background checks on their healthcare workers. They train, supervise and monitor them as well.

If your doctor recommends around-the-clock home health care, long-term care insurance usually covers the cost. It can be purchased through private insurers and the veterans administration. The insurer will typically assess your condition and needs before providing care. You can also hire a caregiver independently.

Dietary Care

Home health care helps patients recover from an illness or injury or manage a chronic medical condition. It can prevent unnecessary hospitalizations and help them stay in their homes longer. Home health care is usually covered by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance plans.

Home care employees provide vital support to their clients by communicating with family members and doctors. They also keep a log of each visit and report to the appropriate professionals.

A career in home health care provides you with a variety of opportunities to advance your skills and responsibilities. With time, you can become a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse and eventually move into management positions. You can also continue your education and gain more clinical experience as you work toward becoming a physician or certified nursing assistant.

Laboratory Testing

Home health care is a wide range of medical and non-medical services. Home healthcare workers regularly visit your home to assess your condition, teach you how to manage your illness at home, and provide you with the supplies you need.

These employees may also work in laboratories, analyzing specimens such as blood and body fluids, determining test results, and communicating those results to the appropriate pathologist or health practitioner. These laboratory professionals must be highly trained and certified for their specific roles.

Some home healthcare workers are subject to violence while visiting their clients, which can range from verbal abuse or threats of assault to homicide. The NIOSH Science Blog explains how home healthcare workers can reduce their risk of violence on the job by following basic safety rules.

Transportation

Home health care workers are often driving to multiple patients, and they may be exposed to a variety of safety and health hazards. These include bloodborne pathogens, latex sensitivity and ergonomic hazards from patient lifting.

To be eligible for home health care, you must be considered "homebound." This means that leaving your home is difficult or impossible and would require the use of a wheelchair, walker or another device. However, you are allowed brief and occasional non-medical absences from home for purposes such as going to church, shopping or special family events.

In metro areas, it's likely that you have access to public transportation. If not, your home health care agency can arrange transportation for you. This can be a major cost saver for some patients, as the service is typically paid for by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance.