After reading last week’s blog it is tempting not to read this one because they sound very similar—Home Care vs. Home Health Care. But they perform very different and vital functions, many times working alongside each other. Home Care provides non-medical care at a person’s residence—bathing, light housework, transportation, companionship, etc. Home Health Care coordinates skilled medical needs for a homebound individual.
Medicare defines homebound individuals as people who require great difficulty to leave their homes. To qualify for Home Health Care, clients must also demonstrate a skilled medical need. A physician writes an order for a home health care evaluation. A licensed person will come to the home, assess the client, and come up with goals and plans to help that individual obtain optimal health. According to Claudette Brumit, Director of Nursing at Phoenix Home Health in Oklahoma City, the following list is a good guide to determine if a homebound individual would benefit from Home Health.
- A recent hospital stay
- A new diagnosis
- Wound care that requires dressing changes
- A decline in an individual’s physical situation
- A recent fall
- A new medication that has been started
Home Health can provide physical and occupational therapists to increase strength and safety in the home. A speech therapist can work with swallowing or speech disorders. A psychiatric nurse manages the complexity of clients needing mental health services. A registered nurse can monitor and educate clients on how to manage their health and medication regimen. If you think a loved one needs home health talk to his/her health care provider.