Home Health Care is often referred to as personal care or primary care given by an individual caregiver in the patient’s home rather than care given in a nursing home or other group facilities such as clinics. Home Health Care has grown substantially over the years due to the aging of the population and the lack of adequate facilities to care for older citizens. There are many options available for home healthcare. Medicaid has many programs that provide financial assistance for individuals who qualify. Most states have some type of home health care assistance program for the elderly including elder care assistance. The home health aide can be a skilled nurse, licensed practical nurse (LPN), or licensed vocational nurse (LVN).
There are other ways that a home health care services provider can assist an elderly patient. The patient may require assistance with daily household tasks such as bathing, dressing, medication administration, and meal preparation. The service provider will assist the patient with these tasks in turn until the doctor or other health care provider can attend to the needs of the patient. The service provider may also provide emotional support by helping the patient cope with changes in lifestyle and interacting with family members. Some home health services may refer the patient to a medical provider if the medical treatment becomes necessary for the well-being of the patient.
Skilled workers who are trained in various medical specialties and skills, such as nurses, doctors, and therapists, can provide services in a medical facility or at the individual’s home. Skilled workers may need help with a medical condition that limits their ability to walk or with mobility. Medical conditions that prevent them from performing routine tasks, such as diabetes or kidney disease, can also restrict their home health care services. Home Health Care agencies that are certified to provide medical and occupational therapy services can refer their clients to medical specialists or licensed practical nurses (LPN) who can provide services to patients with medical conditions that limit their ability to do daily activities.
As a patient’s elder years progress, their physical abilities decrease. Elderly individuals may require increased assistance with simple tasks, such as bathing or dressing. In some cases, the individual may need to modify their home in order to meet certain safety and functional requirements. In such cases, the home health care provider may provide transportation, help with shopping, errands, and housekeeping duties until the patient is able to perform these tasks on their own. A licensed LPN is required to have a pharmacy technician certificate, which can help the Medicare provider provides services to the client without requiring the client to visit the office.
Elderly individuals often suffer from diseases and conditions that make it difficult to dress, bathe, eat, walk, or take regular medications on their own. In home health care agencies that are certified to provide services to the elderly, the physical therapist or technician provides comprehensive assistance with activities of daily living (ADL). These include assistance with bathing, dressing, grooming, and transportation. The physical therapist or technician will also coordinate medication schedules, assist with meal planning and shopping, and assist with toileting.
In home health care services for the elderly include visiting the doctor on a weekly basis for checkups and to receive treatment for illnesses. Physician visits include examining the physical structure of the body, such as the joints and muscles. They will also assess the client’s mental status, assessing personality disorders and communicating problems. In rare cases, the physician will order laboratory tests to diagnose a condition or disease, prescribe medications, and refer the client to another doctor for further treatment. Some of the medications that a licensed therapist administers include pain relievers, oxygen, and antibiotics.
Other services that a licensed home care provider provides include assisting seniors with everyday personal hygiene needs, such as bathing, brushing their teeth, flossing and eating a nutritious meal. The client will also be assessed with regard to his or her memory and hearing, and the extent of physical impairment, if any. If the physician feels that a patient is in need of additional assistance, he or she may refer the client to an aide for additional support, either in the form of a personal care assistant or a personal care technician. The aides are typically trained to provide assistance with bathing and dressing requirements, toileting, transferring from bed to chair and from bathroom to kitchen.
In the event that a patient does not require immediate healthcare services or treatment, the licensed therapist or technician will document the situation and send it to the doctor. If a referral is required, the patient will be referred to the next available professional, such as a nurse, social worker or occupational therapist. For long-term care facilities, the assigned caregiver will take over the responsibilities of the assigned physician or nurse. The role of the first visit is simply to establish continuity of care for the elderly, while educating them on their healthcare services and medical history.