Your mom’s doctor referred her to a home health care agency. You know your mom needs help, but you’re not sure what each home health care professional has to offer or how you will manage to pay for their services.
What is Home Health Care?
Home health care includes a wide range of healthcare services that can be provided in your loved one’s home. This type of care is often required after an illness or injury or as an individual ages, with the goal of recovery from illness and retaining independence.
Your mom’s doctor will refer her to a home health agency which provides her home care. These agency services are generally provided in connection with a hospital or other medical facility.
Visiting nurses can provide regularly needed medical treatments and observation without your mom needing to travel to an office or hospital. The visiting nurse remains in contact with your mom’s doctor to relay changes in health and vital signs while receiving instruction about changes in care.
Services provided by visiting nurses are similar to those provided by nurses in a medical facility. This includes care and management of chronic illness or injuries, pain management, administering medications, monitoring vitals, and coordination of home medical equipment.
Care is provided or supervised by a registered nurse. These professionals manage, observe, and evaluate your loved one’s care. They can also teach your mom and family members about her illness and care needs.
Physical therapists can provide your mom with a plan to increase muscle movement, reduce pain and increase functional ability.
Physical therapists use an individual’s history and physical examination to establish a management plan. This plan commonly includes specific exercises, mechanical devices which supply hot or cold temperatures, and adaptive devices if necessary.
Occupational therapists can provide your mom with assistance in increasing ability to perform activities of daily life and reaching the highest possible level of independence. This type of therapy is generally provided after an illness or accident which limits your loved one’s abilities.
Occupational therapists also work to identify and eliminate environmental barriers to independence and participation in your mom’s daily life. This is personalized to your loved one and places emphasis on progress toward their specific goals.
Speech therapists focus on improving speech and language skills. Therapy can be provided to those born with communication problems or those who have developed problems after an injury or illness, such as a stroke.
Home Health Aide
A home health aide can assist your mom with activities of daily living. They are also able to assist your mom in taking medications and checking basic vital signs. Home health aides will report to a nurse or doctor any negative symptoms your loved one experiences to ensure prompt treatment.
Home health aides are also able to assist your mom by doing light housekeeping, arranging transportation, planning appointments, shopping for groceries, preparing meals, and providing companionship.
Medical Social Workers
Medical social workers provide help with social and emotional concerns related to illness. These professionals can assist your mom throughout her care process, offering advice and counseling, acting as an advocate, and referring her to programs and facilities.
Medical social workers can help to ensure your mom understands her treatments and rights as a patient, along with assisting with medical finance concerns. Overall, they work toward the goal of simplifying the medical world for your family.
While all of these home health care professionals can visit your loved one’s home to provide assistance, only select services may be necessary in your mom’s situation. Understanding the services of each home healthcare professional can help you to better understand the doctor’s referral for care.