Home Health Care is health care or supportive care provided by a professional clinician, therapist, aide, caregiver in the individual home where the patient or client is living, as opposed to care provided in group accommodations like clinics or nursing homes. Homecare is also known as domiciliary care, social care, or in-home care. Home Health Care consists of a wide range of health care services that are provided to patients at their homes for an illness or injury. The service is provided by professional caregivers, clinicians and therapists such as:   registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language therapists, medical social workers, dietitians, and certified home health aides. It is usually less expensive and just as effective as hospital or nursing home care. Home health care is a $75 billion dollar a year industry in the United States, comprising approximately 1.5 million clinicians and therapists. Home health care may be appropriate for patients who have chronic illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, or respiratory disease. 

Why Home Health Care?

Most people do not like going to the hospital, especially older adults. If available, they prefer to receive medical care (similar to hospital care) in their home. Home health Care gives patients the option to recover in a more familiar and comfortable setting among their family and friends where they can also have more independence. 

Types of Home Health Care:

There are a variety of home health care services. The most common are:

Skilled Nursing Care: Skilled nursing is medical care that is provided by a Registered Nurse or an Licensed Practical (or Vocational) Nurse by home health care agencies for complex medical needs. This is different from caregiving. Skilled nursing is the highest level of nursing care. The most common treatments provided for skilled nursing include:

  • Intravenous Feeding
  • Breathing treatments
  • Monitoring vitals
  • Ventilator care
  • Conduct physical exams
  • Medication Management
  • Wound Care
  • Analyze patients’ physical and emotional needs

Hospice Care: Hospice care focuses on supporting those with life-limiting illnesses. The goal of hospice care is to manage the patient’s pain and comfort level as much as possible rather than treating the disease itself. The primary reasons to receive hospice care is to 

  • Maximizes the patient’s overall comfort
  • Reduce chronic pain
  • Provide quality of life

Caregiving: Caregiving is short or long-term care provided to patients who require daily assistance from others. Caregivers do not perform clinical or medical care. Some of the duties caregivers perform are:

  • Providing assistance in meal preparation
  • Providing assistance in maintaining personal hygiene and routine activities such as bathing, feeding, or taking medicine
  • Assisting with shopping (grocery, clothes, and other essential items)
  • Driving the patient to appointments
  • Providing companionship and emotional support
  • Ensuring patients take the medications
  • Provide helping hand to prevent fall and mobility assistance

Benefits of Home Health Care:

Home health care can provide a variety of benefits to patients. Such benefits include:

  • Receiving quality care at home
  • Quicker recoveries
  • Better recovery outcomes
  • A return to independence.
  • Reducing hospital readmissions.
  • Physical therapy and occupational therapy.