Hi, I’m Mark McGuinness with MedStar
Visiting Nurse Association. I want to tell you about home health care and how
it may benefit you or a loved one. Sometimes when patients are discharged
from a hospital nursing home or rehabilitation center, they’re still very
sick. A doctor can refer these patients to home health care. A doctor may also
order home care for someone who is disabled or living with a chronic
illness. A homecare company will send licensed healthcare professionals to
visit a patient at home a few days a week usually for about an hour. The homecare team monitors patients and helps them care for themselves so they can
heal safely at home. There are a range of services that a doctor can ask the
homecare company to provide. For instance, skilled nursing. This may include assistance with medicines, wound care, education about
diet or activity to better control your disease symptoms, or handling IV
treatments at home. Another service is rehabilitation like physical,
occupational, and speech therapy. This may include a home safety assessment,
exercise plan, or managing activities of daily living. Homecare companies may
also provide medical social workers. Social workers assess the patient’s
ability to live well in their current environment. They may help a patient find
support in the community like Meals on Wheels or adult day care. A doctor may
order IV drug therapy at home. Homecare nurses teach patients or loved ones to
manage IV therapy on their own. For patients who need skilled nursing, they
can also get help from a home health aide. These team members assist with
personal care, like bathing or grooming There are a few important things you
should know about home care. It must be ordered by a doctor, and the
patient must have a face-to-face meeting with the doctor in order to qualify. It
is not long-term car. When the homecare team determines that a patient has
reached maximum potential, the patient will be discharged. Home care is
part-time and intermittent — patients receive visits just a few times a week
for about an hour. The patient must be confined to the home, meaning it is very
difficult to leave the home and travel. It can take different forms, but the goal
of home care is to help people be independent and to help them heal safely
at home.