Everything you need to know about home health care

home health care

Home health care

The idea of driving down to a hospital when you are sick seems stressful. It is now easy to receive many health care treatments from health professionals in the comfort of your home. This is what home health care is all about. Home health care is just as effective as the care and treatment you receive in the hospital. Usually, most people prefer treatment at home because of its low cost and more convenience.

The goal of home health care agencies is to offer you better and adequate health treatment- whether it’s for an injury or an illness. They are specifically built to provide you with top-notch, professional health care service while you relax in your home. Not every home health care agency offers similar services. Services are usually varied from one agency to another. But, the good thing is they are aimed at providing you and your loved ones with optimal health care.

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The purpose of home health care is to diagnose and treat any chronic illness, injury, terminal sickness, and post-surgery event at home.

This article, covers extensively, everything you should know about home health care- including eligibility, payment options,

Who is eligible?

It is possible for you to receive home health care services if you are under either Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B. If you have Medicare, then you can gain access to home health care benefits. This now leads us to the question, Does Medicare cover home health care services? Yes, they do. Under Medicare, you are eligible for home health care services if:

  1. A doctor constantly or regularly supervises your health. This supervision is well planned.
  2. Physical therapy, continued occupational therapy, or part-time skilled nursing care is assigned to you by a doctor.
  3. You are homebound. Homebound is a term used to describe people who find it difficult to leave their homes, maybe due to an illness, disability, or old age.

If you are eligible to receive health benefits offered by Medicare, your doctor will document a list in regards to what you need. Afterward, he/she will sign you a home health care certification. The services that will be available to you include medical social services, medical supplies, assistance with daily activities from a home health aide (Medicaid), occupational and physical therapy.

What services are provided by home health care?

Agencies like home health care render beneficial services. These services can include therapy, dietary assistance, vision assistance, skilled nursing, and more. Usually, the services offered depend on what the patient’s needs are. Read on to find out the services offered by home health care agencies.





  1. Skilled nursing care

One of the most common at-home care services is nursing care. The services here are rendered by a certified or registered nurse. They offer ostomy care, wound dressing, administration of medication, pain control, intravenous therapy, monitoring the overall health of the patient, etc.

  1. Medical social services

These services are rendered by medical social workers. What they do includes sourcing for community support or amenities that can aid in the quick recovery of the patient. They can also provide counseling and act as the patient’s case manager.

  1. Homemaker assistance

It may surprise you to know that this is one of the home health care services. A homemaker is one who assists with chores or tasks in the home of the patient. While the patient is medically looked after, a homemaker can take care of the home or offer little assistance to spur rapid health recovery. The services rendered include laundry, meal preparation, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc.

  1. Doctor care

A doctor can give care to a patient at home by diagnosing or treating an illness. He/she may also access the home health care needs of the patient, periodically.

  1. Care from home health aides

Home health aides are people who offer assistance to patients in regard to their personal needs. The assistance they offer includes bathing, walking, dressing, or even getting out of bed. Not to worry, home health aides are professionals and some of them even receive special training to work under the supervision of a nurse.

  1. Occupational, physical, and/or speech therapy

Due to the impact of some health conditions, an affected person may forget or find it difficult to perform some activities- even after they recover. This service is provided to patients who need help relearning how to carry out daily activities like walking or to those who want to improve their speech after an injury.

An occupational therapist assists patients with developmental, social, emotional, or physical disabilities. With such assistance, patients can relearn how to bathe, dress, eat, and perform other daily activities. A physical therapist together with a care plan can assist a patient to regain strong muscles and joints. A speech therapist can help a patient communicate more verbally after an illness.





  1. Nutritional support

Another home health care service offered to a patient at home is nutritional support. To boost health and promote rapid recovery, a patient needs to consume the right nutrients in the right proportion. Dieticians can visit a patient’s home to provide dietary assessments. This will help to support the treatment plan.

Other at-home care services include

  • Companionship: to provide comfort and supervision to the patient
  • Pharmaceutical services: medicine or medical equipment can be provided to a patient in the comfort of their home.
  • Home-delivered meals: to reduce the patient’s stress, hot meals can be delivered as many times as they want.
  • Volunteer care
  • Laboratory and x-ray imaging: yes, even this can be done at home. Lab technicians can carry out blood, urine, and other laboratory tests using portable x-ray machines at home.

How much does home health care service cost?

At-homecare costs vary depending on the patient’s needs or degree of service and location. Home health care offered by specialized professionals like registered dieticians, doctors, nurses, and therapists, costs more. The Genworth home health care provided a survey on the cost of care. According to the survey, the national median cost of home health care is $24 per hour. And as for non-medical home care like companionship, homemaker assistance, and transportation, is $23.50 per hour.

How to pay for home health care

Lots of home health care agencies have different payment options. Most of the available options to help you benefit from home care include:

  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Veterans benefits
  • Private health insurance
  • Auto insurance or worker’s compensation
  • Private pay such as savings, home equity, retirement income, stocks, etc.

There are lots of affordable choices for people who want in-home care. When making plans to contact a home health care provider, make sure to ask if they are willing to coordinate and work with you in regards to appropriate financial plans.

Conclusion

Home health care simply has to do with receiving health treatment of any kind in your home, without having to visit a hospital. Not everyone is eligible for home health care services. If you have Medicare, then you can enjoy at-home care services like nursing care, medical social services, physical, occupational, and speech therapy, doctor care, etc.





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