About 4.9 million people receive home healthcare annually, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you or a loved one has had a recent hospital stay, is having surgery or is recovering from a major illness/injury, home healthcare agencies are there to help patients get better without having to leave their homes. Keep in mind, home healthcare isn't just for elderly patients. People of all ages, from infants through seniors, make use of these vital services. Before assuming that your illness or injury does or doesn't fit under typical homecare practices, check out what services these pros offer.
Some women don't have easy deliveries. There's a complication, the baby needs to go to the NICU or either the mother or baby has some other condition requiring medical attention. It's not always practical (or allowed by the insurance provider) to stay at the hospital for an extended period of time. The homecare professionals can help postpartum women and their babies to recover in the comfort of their own homes. These services may include catheterization, administration of IV or injectable medications, blood specimen collection, breastfeeding support or education.
A prolonged post-surgical stay is never something that a patient wants. Homecare allows post-op patients to recover and start their rehab at home. These services may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, wound care, catheter care, medication administration, mobility assistance, help with activities of daily life (such as bathing and eating) or observation/supervision.
Chronic conditions, such as Alzheimer's disease or heart failure, often require 24-7 care. Instead of moving into a skilled nursing facility, some patients choose to receive care at home. This provides a level of comfort that they might not feel in a nursing home. Home healthcare agencies may offer round the clock services that include supervision, help with activities of daily life, disease management, medication administration and physical/occupational therapy.
Mental Health Services
Patients with some mental health conditions may also require 24-7 care. Homecare offers these patients the ability to live at home, or independently, while still getting the treatment and supervision that they need. While most home healthcare agencies don't provide direct psychological therapy services, they often offer the support with activities of daily life and supervision that these patients require to live as part of their communities.
Seniors use home healthcare for many different reasons. Some fit into one of the other categories, and are recovering from surgery, have a chronic condition or have a mental health issue. Others need added help to live independently. This may mean that they need help bathing, eating, dressing and traveling to medical appointments.
There are an array of reasons why patients use home healthcare agencies. From a young mother who is recovering from an infection following a C-section to a senior citizen who has just had hip replacement surgery, people of all ages use these valuable services on a daily basis. If you think that you (or a loved one) may be eligible, talk to your doctor about the possibility of transferring care to the home setting.