What exactly is home health and how does it benefit my loved one or my family? This is a question that over 65 million adults ask themselves each day when they are juggling work, family, and the care of an elderly loved one. Everyone has a busy schedule yet want to make sure that the best care is given to their family member. Many people are uncomfortable with the idea of their senior living in an unfamiliar nursing home, so as an alternative home health has become a realistic option. So why choose home health? Here are a few reasons that may make your decision a little easier.
Better Patient Centered Care
One of the better benefits of home health is that trained nurses and therapists are able to make visits to the home and deliver quality individualized care to each patient. Often in nursing homes, a nurse is responsible for each floor of the hall and may not be able to notice immediate changes in patient’s wellbeing or response to different medications. Also, these facilities may have various nurses throughout the day tending to each patient, so it’s more difficult for each resident to connect or develop relationships with the nurses which is essential to effective care. Also, home health nurses are better able to manage the medications that patient’s may be taking from several doctors or any over-the-counter medications that they may not have brought into the nursing home. They are able to monitor for side effects and consult with the patient’s primary care physician. Some agencies have consultant pharmacists that may help manage medications as well. Also, the same skilled nursing that occurs within the nursing home will be delivered in the patient’s home. In addition, home health agencies often offer a wide range of services from skilled nursing care to assistance with daily tasks as well as speech, occupational or physical therapy. In addition, patients are able to request a nurse or therapist remain in charge of their care throughout the duration of their home health stint, which creates better communication and relationships. The more comfortable a patient is with their caregivers, the better the care.
In general, senior care can be expensive, and dependent on the level of care needed for each patient. However, for the most part home health care is less expensive than nursing home care. A home health agency may charge up to $130 per each visit to a patient’s home, but these visits can be scheduled around a family’s needs. So, the nurse may visit the patient daily if required or a few times a week. Depending on the care needed and amenities offered at a skilled nursing facility, cost may range from $250 to $500 per day. For patients with severe dementia and Alzheimer’s, this may be an option as these patients may be prone to wandering off.
No one likes to feel restrained. In the nursing home setting, some residents feel like their independence is taken away. The transition of living independently to a nursing home is often too much for some patients to deal with. This leads to increased anxiety and depression for many patients. In the home health setting, patients are able to continue to live their daily lives, but with assistance. Seniors are able to maintain their independence for as long as they are able. They also respond better to treatment and therapy within the home. The familiarity and comfort of being at home Is something that is important to many seniors and their families as well. Those patients who experience Alzheimer’s or dementia may respond better to therapies within the home due to its familiarity as well. These choices highlight that home health may be an option for you and your loved one.