Home Health Care allows a person their independence, and choice. Clients include seniors and those living with chronic illness, disability or who are recovering from an accident or surgery and are either not ready or willing to leave their home for an institutional setting. Many live with relatives, but because of their health they need some support to remain independent and live at home. Many cannot perform basic daily activities.
Home health care - where a trained aide or nurse visits the home and helps a patient with daily activities and medical care if required - has become a preferred option to placing a loved one in a nursing home. Deciding how to care for an ill or incapacitated parent can be difficult. In many cases, a nursing home is not the best, or the least expensive, choice.
Home health services have greatly expanded over the years. Patients may receive assistance in maintaining medication schedules, bathing, feeding, toileting activities, running errands such as food shopping and picking up prescriptions, preparing meals, cleaning the house and getting a ride to the physician. Home health care can be full-time or part-time. Whether someone needs round the clock attention or an aide to visit for a few hours a day, help is available.
Everyone's situation is different and most home health agencies assign an experienced case manager, usually an Registered Nurse, to visit the home, evaluate and assess the person's needs and work with the client, family and home care staff to draft and implement a plan of care.
More than ten million elderly Americans need help today with such basics as bathing and dressing, preparing meals and other activities of daily living. Many more need nursing attention. And with the percentage of senior citizens expected to increase sharply by the year 2020 - by about 50 percent - from 35.5 million persons in 2000 to 52.6 million persons, the demand for home health services is sure to grow.
Who Might Benefit from Home Care Services
Home Care clients can include those with diminished eyesight or hearing, arthritis, COPD, those recovering from severe medical problems such as cancer or heart disease, or those who are dealing with memory loss or Alzheimer's disease. Many clients have a number of conditions together which make the everyday activities of life difficult.
With some help, they can be relieved of using their energy for simple activities that for them are exhausting ones. They can then begin to use that energy for whatever is for them the important things in life: connecting with friends or family, taking a short walk, or perhaps reading a good book.
Caregiver Assistance & Family Support
For aging adults, living at home is an important part of their quality of life; however, living at home independently presents challenges in life's later years. For family members, balancing care for loved ones with their own needs poses a unique set of difficulties.
Most often care for a client is a family situation, not a just individual client needing care. Home health services may also provide a respite for a primary family caregiver (e.g. a wife caring for a husband or a daughter caring for her mother). With help, the considerable stress the role of constant caregiver can bring is lessened, and often the relationship between a caregiver and the person receiving care can strengthen.