Finding good quality home health care is not difficult if you have a clear idea of the type of help that is needed. If you are looking for basic medical support along the lines of a visiting home health nurse, then you may not need the full range of support offered by professional home health care services. But if your loved one who is elderly or chronically ill needs more help than a registered nurse can provide, home health care services might be the answer.
Senior care typically includes regular scheduled visits by the home health care team to evaluate vital signs, including temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate. Patients with chronic conditions may need to be checked for developing issues like pressure sores or weight loss. Professional health care experts provide these services to monitor a patient’s well-being.
Coordinated community support.
A health care worker may also help to orchestrate community resources like transport to doctor visits and prescription home delivery. Although the family can manage services like these, the health care employee often has experience in helping to connect patients and their families to resources of this type.
Medical equipment liaison.
Health care professionals assigned to a homebound patient can sometimes assist in obtaining medical equipment and supplies prescribed by doctors and ensuring its delivery, setup, and use. Common equipment and related items used for homebound patients include bedside toilets, bed pads, and walking canes, among others.
Patient and family education.
An elderly caregiver often has the training and experience to teach patients and their families how to cope with various diseases or illnesses. For example, the home health caregiver can demonstrate how to change a wound dressing, take a person’s blood pressure, or how to communicate with someone who has difficulty speaking. Patients can learn how to transfer from a bed to a wheelchair or how to take medications a certain way, such as giving themselves an injection for diabetes treatment.
If a homebound patient displays new symptoms that are not life-threatening but still a concern, the senior care provider may be able to evaluate the symptoms and reassure or inform the family or contact the appropriate medical experts for further assessment. For instance, if a skin rash develops, it may need only a simple over-the-counter cream. But if the rash becomes profuse, the elderly caregiver may recommend a doctor’s visit for a more thorough examination.
Health care services delivered at home to a loved one in need can provide a family with much-needed support and assistance. While a registered nurse is very helpful, home health care can sometimes offer a broader range of services.