Needing Home Health Care is more common than ever. Seniors coping with a variety of health conditions use home health care. Seniors that suffer from a chronic disease that limits their ability to manage their health on their own or requires medical treatments that only a nurse can provide. Seniors that are recovering from an injury or sudden illness may also need home health care services to help them heal properly and recover some of the abilities they lost due to an injury or illness. The goal of home healthcare is to provide seniors with the immediate medical care they need while helping them gain the ability to care for themselves.
Needing Home Health Care
After a hospitalization, it is common for a senior to need a fair amount of assistance to fully recover. Seniors do not heal as fast as younger people do, and they are more susceptible to serious injuries from minor falls and accidents. They are also more prone to suffer from acute medical problems such as a stroke that can severely limit their physical abilities. In some cases, seniors may not be able to return to their home right away, but may need to stay in a rehabilitation center or nursing home during recovery to receive more intense medical care and treatments. Those seniors that are well enough to return to their home may still face significant challenges that require significant skilled nursing services or therapies.
Once a senior is well enough to return to their home a home health care agency should meet with them to fully evaluate what needs they have and recommend the services that will help them achieve as much independence as possible. This evaluation will also be based on the expected results of full recovery. A home healthcare agency will review a senior’s medical records and speak with the senior’s physician to help determine the types of services the senior can benefit from and what the realistic expectations and abilities the senior can work to regain.
Occupational Therapy for Seniors
One of the most helpful therapies seniors can receive from a home health care agency is occupational therapy. The name occupational therapy can seem a little misplaced when discussing a senior that has been retired for quite a long time, but it is really therapies to help a senior regain an ability to perform their tasks of daily living. Occupational therapists work to help seniors perform tasks like dressing, grooming, bathing, and using the toilet on their own again. There may need to be changes to a senior’s home to enable them to perform these tasks without the risk of injuring themselves. Occupational therapists also teach seniors to use assistive devices properly when necessary to compensate for lost abilities. Equipment such as walkers, adjustable toilet seats, and hospital beds may be necessary to help a senior perform daily tasks, but with the help of occupational therapists, seniors can often adapt to the needed changes.
Home health care is typically provided to seniors on a short-term basis. Medicare covers many of the home healthcare seniors often require, but there are restriction on the length of treatment by a home healthcare agency. Home healthcare agencies that participate with Medicare are well aware of the restrictions Medicare puts in place and will design their care plan with the financial aspect of the treatment in mind.