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Home Care 101 In Northern California

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Home Care 101
By AtHome Healthcare Team

The COVID-19 pandemic has given a new meaning to the word “home care.” With many medical facilities in the world working at their maximum capacity. We saw that many were asked to stay at home and practice home care to get better in time. Home care hasn’t always been under the context of the coronavirus. Before 2019, when you heard the term “home care,” you would automatically think about all hospice care or the care of those chronically ill at home.

Finding the right kind of home care for someone you love can be an exhausting procedure. At the end of it, you may not have an idea better than you did initially. You may not know what you have to do to get the best healthcare for your family. However, you also need to understand which choices are the best for you. It’s not easy by any measure to hope for free healthcare. However, we can make things easier by presenting all your options to make a more informed decision.

We have prepared a little guide with some tips to help you make the best decision for your whole family.

What Is Meant by Home Care?

Home care, often also called home health care, is the process of providing the most skilled care to a patient who is chronically ill or diseased. Medical professionals generally provide the type of care who have years and years of experience in their expert fields. The professionals include nurses, therapists, and aides who help treat or take care of illnesses, injuries, and medical conditions.

They help with both medical and non-medical needs. However, three types of home care are available at the moment.

  1. Visiting Nurses Associations (VNAs)
  2. Private Home Care (this is called non-medical home care)
  3. Skilled Home Care

What Is Included in Home Care Services?

1. Visiting Nurses Associations (VNAs)

This type of care is generally provided for those who need care only for short periods. You would use a VNA when an older person is discharged from the hospital after being ill or sustained an injury. These VNAs would help you with the transitional first few days to help establish a routine. You won’t have to do everything on your own. Instead, you can charter help at home so that you don’t overwork yourself.

You don’t want to take this service for granted. Many people think that they can hire a VNA for as long as they like, and their health insurance will cover it. However, this isn’t the case most often. Health insurance might cover a nurse, but only for a limited period.

Senior citizens can generally avail of this service only a few days a week, for 2-4 hours every day. The nurses help you address any medical issues. Such as insertion of IVs, breathing, and food tubes, if necessary, medications, and how to take care of the many wounds that may exist. 

There will also be therapists who help with mobility treatments. They can also help with all kinds of home health care. This includes the personal hygiene for the patient, so those factors may also exist.

2. Private Home Care

These are a group of companies that help in providing home health aides. They also provide certified nursing assistants (CNA) and homemakers. Private home care is a more specific and focused on excellent service. It helps people with various conditions, from injury prevention to nutrition and supervision. But is not limited that and they can assist in various ways depending on specific patient needs. They generally offer home care for senior citizens who have trouble moving around and accomplishing tasks independently.

They help with the following tasks:

  1. Bathing
  2. Dressing
  3. Chores
  4. Fall Prevention
  5. Supervision
  6. Transportation

Aging can be a challenge. However, with private home care, people can feel more control over their lives. It’s important to note that private home care is becoming more affordable as it is more common. You should look into insurance policies that might offer various home care coverages. The benefits for the entire procedure are that you can get the proper caregivers who can spend more time with you or a loved one in the home. 

3. Skilled Home Care

Skilled home care and home health care are the same. They involve specialized or experienced home care in the form of health aides sent to your address or residence whenever you want to receive it. Specialized health care means nurses, doctors, and therapists who show up to the patient’s home. Specialized care is provided to treat or manage an illness.

These health care services are specific as they involve medical professionals who have years of experience and have certifications that tell us that they’ve been in the industry for a while. It allows you or your family to receive the best possible home care. This is top-tier home care and covers as many illnesses and diseases.

Skilled home care doesn’t just include standard home care. A senior citizen has dementia or Alzheimer’s problems, and they might find it difficult to cope. Skilled home care makes allowance for such instances.

The advantage of skilled home care is getting professional medical care anywhere you want. You can get it at home without having to go anywhere else.  

What Is the Purpose of Home Care?

With home care, you’re essentially trying to bring in independence for the patient in their daily living. You’re also making it easier for a patient to receive care. They no longer have to stay hours and hours in the hospital. Instead, you’re bringing in health care providers to them.

The primary purpose of home health care could be to treat an illness or injury. It could also be a move to get them to regain independence. Patients will also find that their healing process speeds up when they’re in an environment with which they’re familiar and comfortable. It also helps them become self-sufficient. Home health care provides a different way of living for people who have recently gone through a traumatic experience that has significantly impeded their quality of life. They also provide emotional and physical therapy.

The purpose of home care is different for different people. You may think that you only need it when there’s an illness or an injury, and that’s true. However, sometimes people need it due to chronic conditions like Amnesia, dementia, or Alzheimer’s. The purpose of home care is to make your and the patient’s life better.

What Does a Home Caregiver do?

Being a home caregiver includes a lot of tasks. It’s a grave responsibility to take on. If you’re on the fence about hiring a home caregiver because you think you can handle it, you must understand that the care you provide may not be the best. A caregiver you hire to be there will take on a lot more responsibility than you can since it’s their job. If the patient is close to you, you may think you must take care of them. However, caretaking is an emotionally exhausting process, and it’s okay for you to take a break and seek help.

In any case, before you understand whether you want a home caregiver or not, you must look into what a caregiver’s responsibilities might include.

1. Helping with Personal care

A personal care aide will help with anything that a patient might need help with. Bathing, grooming, dressing, going to the toilet, and exercising or physical therapy. These activities are some that many take for granted. Still, professional must conduct personal care with the patient’s utmost dignity that can be provided.

2. Basic Food Preparation

In certain patients, their nutrition is essential to their overall health. If someone is currently recovering from a heart attack, you have to be very careful with what they can and can’t eat. Generally, a nutritionist helps you with what you can give the patient to eat. However, it’s up to you to enforce the diet. If you hire home care, they work on preparing meals. They do the shopping for those meals and do laundry, and run other errands you may need help with.

At least for a little while, having someone who will get the burden off of you can be a huge blessing.

3. Mobility Assistance

This type of care generally comes under senior care. If the patient can’t move independently, you will need help getting them around. Additionally, there’s also the problem of helping them in and out of the wheelchair. Hiring a nurse will help you feel more in control and the patient more dignified as they feel like they can move in and out of their wheelchair.

4. Personal Supervision

You may think the only thing a patient needs is maintaining their physical well-being. However, this isn’t the case. Their emotional well-being must be catered to, too. Unless you’re someone who has an ample amount of time. And, doesn’t have any other errands to run, you can provide the personal supervision that a patient may need. Depending on the health issue, a patient might need constant personal supervision or constant companionship.

Many people are just coming off a treatment of psychosis or hallucination, who need constant monitoring and sometimes wound care.

5. General Health Care

This factor is generally something you can give the patient on your own. However, a caregiver informs you regarding the medication and prescriptions usage that the patients need to take. They also take care in setting up reminders for appointments and help administer medicines when it comes to it.

6. Transportation

A caregiver will also need to drive the patient wherever they need to be in the moment. You don’t have to worry yourself in conducting errands involving the patient. They manage the process of getting the patient in and out of your home and the facility where they’re headed.

7. Emotional Support

Depending on the type of illness that a subject has, they could be dealing with deep emotional trauma along with major physical trauma. You’re likely too close to the situation to provide them emotional support without it affecting you in turn. Patients always need someone to talk to in a way that doesn’t make them feel like a burden. They need a stable companion who can be there in all matters, whether personal, emotional, or physical.

8. Care for the Elderly

A caregiver also has to give specialized care many times. It takes a lot of emotional toll to orient or ground someone to who you’re related. Caregivers go through special training, so they know how to deal with these awkward and triggering situations. They also need to give out information to nurses and doctors to help the patient.

9. Back-Up Care (Respite) Services

A caregiver might replace another caregiver as even caregivers need a break.

10. Home Organization

Sometimes a patient may be living alone. During this time, they would need help with organizing their homes. They could also need general house care and cleaning.

11. Health Monitoring

Caregivers need to monitor the health of patients at high risk with extreme care. It involves following a proper care plan to manage these individuals’ symptoms and monitor their health. Any change in the individual’s health condition can be recorded and reported to make changes in care if necessary.

Final Thoughts

Home care is a necessary service that can offer greater independence to a loved one. There are many ways to give and receive home care. The type of home care that an individual receives has much to do with the condition, ailment, or injury they may have sustained. Being a family caregiver is not easy an task. You should consider hiring a home care service for their experitse in the field and also because it’s difficult for a family member close to the patient to provide long-term care without feeling burnout.

AtHome Healthcare Team can assist by answering your questions and guiding you towards the best approach considering your sitation. We are available by phone or you can request a free consultation appointment.

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