When is Home Health Care Needed?

There is no place like home to provide a healing, relaxing environment when recovering from an illness, injury or surgical procedure. Could it be right for someone in your family?

Seniors
It is no surprise that 90% of Americans want to age in place – at home. Now more than ever, medical experts agree that aging in place is the best choice. It’s healthier. It’s more flexible. In fact, we typically think of senior citizens as the primary clients for home health care. While they are the primary consumer, there are many other people with a variety of mental and physical issues who require the services of a home health agency.

home care for seniorsFor seniors in particular, there are some indications that home health care may be warranted:

  • A history of falls
  • Weight loss, diminished appetite or willingness to prepare meals, or spoiled food in the refrigerator
  • Problems with walking or balance, getting up or down, or transferring in and out of bed
  • Diminished driving skills or recent car accidents
  • Changes in personal grooming or hygiene such as uncombed hair, body odor, infrequent bathing or shaving, or wearing unclean or stained clothing
  • Not remembering to take medication or get prescriptions refilled, difficulty managing multiple prescriptions
  • The home has become cluttered or unclean
  • Paperwork is piling up or bills are not being paid
  • A loss of interest in socializing or in activities that were once enjoyed
  • Confusion, memory loss, difficulty concentrating and changes in personality which may be signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease

Prenatal or Postpartum Moms
Women who have difficult pregnancies and are on bed rest may need the services of a home health care agency to help around the home and provide basic assistance, including aiding in monitoring her overall health. Home health care agencies also provide postpartum care for women, particularly in case of a cesarean, and may help provide newborn care as well.

Hospice Clients
Regardless of age, many clients who are facing the end of life wish to be at home. Many home health care agencies offer hospice services, a specialized form of care that is designed to provide comfort and support for those who are facing a life-limiting illness.

Medically Fragile Children
Medically fragile children are often eligible for home health care services. Children who are ventilator dependent, have cardio-pulmonary conditions, genetic syndromes, or prematurity complications are all among those served by home health care services. Services may include home oxygen management, administering medication, infusion therapy, respite care, and patient/family education.

Disabled Adults and Children
Adults and children who are either severely developmentally or physically disabled may qualify for home health care services. Typically, they would have to meet the requirements for admission in a nursing facility if they are seeking government payment for such care. Those with emotional or mental health issues may qualify as well.

Chronic Illness/Surgical Recovery
Any adults who are home bound due to a major operation or chronic illness may benefit from the services of a home health care agency. Home health care staff can not only help you with your basic needs and recovery, but they can also provide support for home keeping responsibilities until you are able to again.

The Mayo Clinic suggests that if someone of any age who is basically home bound has several of these indications, home health care may be an effective solution:

  • Recurrent Hospitalizations
  • Infusion Therapy
  • Wound Care
  • Ostomy Care
  • Catheter Tube Care
  • Joint Replacement
  • New Medications
  • Diabetic Management
  • Changes in Function
  • New Diagnosis