How To Know What Your Home Health Care Needs Are
Nov 30, 2021 by Samantha Beckman
Your home health care questions, answered
Whether you are a patient or a health care provider, knowing about home health care and the different types of services offered is not always easy. Home health care can incorporate a wide range of health care services provided in your home following an illness or injury. It is generally less expensive — and more comfortable — than receiving the same quality and level of care in a hospital or skilled nursing facility.
November is Home Health Care and Hospice Month. Knute Nelson is West Central Minnesota’s home for quality aging services that are provided with compassion. Whether you are seeking home health care or hospice care, we offer a wide range of services that can help you with chronic disease management, receive skilled nursing care, monitor you for signs of active recovery, and supply you with the latest in at-home healthcare technology to ensure you are protected and can receive assistance around the clock.
Examples of Skilled Home Health Care Services
Home health care services can include, but are not limited to:
Wound care: Services meant to promote wound management and accelerate the healing process
Patient and caregiver education: Educational information, tools, and resources for patients and caregivers to help them control and care for chronic health conditions
Intravenous or nutrition therapy: Parenteral nutrition delivered intravenously using a variety of methods
Injections: Injections of drugs or biologicals, and port catheter injections
Health status monitoring: Ongoing care to help a person’s transition from the hospital to the home
- Chronic illness monitoring and management: 24-hour monitoring and care management of chronic illnesses such as congestive heart failure, diabetes, cancer, and more
All of these home health care services are aimed at helping the client:
Become as self-sufficient as possible
Maintain current conditions or level of function
Slow any decline in physical or cognitive abilities
What Should You Expect From Home Health Care?
Since home health care bridges the gap between a healthcare facility, improved health, and independent living, you should expect that your home health care providers will use a variety of tools and techniques to care for you or your loved one and support your home health care needs.
Your home health care journey might look something like this:
A doctor’s order will begin home health care. Once you are referred to a specialist like Knute Nelson, the home health care agency will schedule an appointment and come to your home to assess your health, your needs, your living conditions, and what you may need to get started on the road to recovery.
Your home health care agency will work with you, your doctor and, if needed, other specialists to coordinate care and update parties on progress.
You should expect that your home health care staff will see you as often as your doctor orders.
A home health care specialist may carry out a wide variety of tasks to ensure your comfort and healing. Those can include:
Questions about what you are eating and drinking
Checking your vital signs, including blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and respiration rate
Ensuring that you are taking your prescriptions and other treatments according to the doctor’s orders
Asking if you have any pain and how severe it is
Teaching you about care so you can take care of yourself
Communicating regularly with you, your doctor, and any other specialists who may be called in to provide care
Who will be on your home health care team?
While they may all look the same, there are in reality many types of home health care workers. They include:
Personal care and companionship workers: These are usually non-medical specialists who help with everyday activities such as waking up, bathing, dressing, personal care, meal preparation, and household tasks to enable your independence and safety.
Home health care nursing care staff: These are trained medical specialists who conduct long-term home-based skilled nursing, as well as long-term nursing, care for a chronic illness, injury, or disability, and care for ventilators, tracheostomies, and other specialized nursing needs. These professionals can also care for diseases and conditions such as spinal cord injury, ALS, and traumatic brain injury, as well as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Visiting nursing services and intermittent skilled care: This is generally short-term, physician-directed care that helps the patient recover from an illness, injury, or hospital stay.
Each individual's care team might look different depending on their needs. To ensure a holistic care experience, we will work with you and you primary care doctor to determine your specific needs and who should be involved with your care.
How Is Home Health Care Paid For?
Depending on your age, injury, income, background, and other factors, there can be a variety of ways to pay for skilled home health care, and a quality provider like Knute Nelson will help you find the best coverage for you at the least cost.
The main ways to pay for personal care at home include:
Private pay: You pay out of pocket
Medicaid: Health coverage for low-income people, families and children, the elderly, and people with disabilities
Medicare: People who are 65 and older, some younger people with disabilities, and people with conditions such as end-stage renal disease
Long-term care insurance: A specific kind of health insurance coverage
Health insurance: Health insurance through an employer, a health exchange, or bought on the open market
Veterans benefits: Enrolled veterans
Workers compensation: People injured on the job whose employers have workers comp insurance
How Do I Select the Right Home Health Care Provider
In some cases, you may be able to choose the home health care provider that you want. In this case, you will want to learn more about their services and reputation. Factors to look at include:
How long they have been serving your community
How well they can explain their services, if you are eligible, and how it is all paid for
Certification and training the staff have
How the provider ensures patient confidentiality
If the provider includes family members when developing a care plan
What procedures are in place to handle emergencies
How to Find Out More About Home Health Care
Are you interested in learning more? Click the link below to take a short assessment and learn about your care needs.