Home Health Care Services
At the most basic level, “home health care” is just that—providing health care service in a patient’s home. Home Health Care agencies vary greatly when it comes the types of services they provide, and we will take a look at some of them in this article. While home health care and home services do sound similar, home care is medically inclined and home services is not medically inclined. Let’s look at some of the medically-related tasks home health care helps with:
- Provides or assists with patient’s personal care, including but not limited to: bathing, shampoo hair, oral hygiene, and general skin care. Helps patients with dressing or grooming. All care is consistent with a “Plan of Care.”
- Helps patients or clients with mobility and ambulation, with consistency to Plan of Care. Such things might include transfers, assistance with walker use, etc.
- Prepares and serves meal, as needed. May also feed and/or give fluids as directed in Plan of Care.
- Helps patients with toileting activities, including, when appropriate: bedpan use, commode or toilet; or changing diapers. Takes and records oral, rectal and auxiliary temperatures, pulse and respiration, and/or blood pressure.
- Turns and positions those who are bed-bound and provides preventative skin care techniques like back rubs and other measures.
- Performs a range of motion and other simple things as instructed by therapists or nurses.
- Helps patients and clients in the self-administration of medicines. Aides do not administer medicine but assist patients.
- Performs household tasks like changing sheets, washing dishes, vacuuming and dust mop floors, dusting furniture, grocery shopping, emptying trash, etc. as appropriate and outlined in Plan of Care.
- Reports observations in a timely manner to RN Case Manager, in order to get nursing attention to patient changes or other urgent needs, as well as documentation of observation and duties.
- Makes use of personal protective equipment when completing tasks where contact with blood or body fluids is possible. Involve patient in socialization or other types of diversionary activities to help with mood and self-esteem enhancement.
In the realm of Nursing Care, RN’s or LPNs give more advanced skilled care, like:
- Skilled Nursing evaluations
- Observation and assessment
- Catheter care
- Cardiac rehabilitation
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Pre & Post Heart Transplant
- Inotropic Home IV Therapy
- Tracheostomy Care
- Wound care and dressings
- Wound Vac Care
- Physical Therapy
- Intravenous Therapy
- Tube feedings and care
- Ostomy care and teaching
- Diabetic care and teaching
- Disease process education
- Post stroke care
- Hypertension, congestive heart failure (CHF) and Emphysema (COPD) care
- Medication management
- Family Counseling and Teaching
And the following specialty services may be provided, depending on the needs of the client and the resources of the agency:
- Medical Social Worker
- Physical Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Speech Therapy
- Hospice Care
- Chaplain Services
If you have any questions regarding how to obtain home health care, you should talk with your doctor. Also, be sure to ask any questions and share any concerns that you might have with the Health Care Agency.