Home health refers to any skilled care medical services provided to the patient at their home. Like any other medical treatment or service, home health also requires that a certified or licensed health care practitioner or a skilled nurse provide the necessary medical treatment.
The frequency and duration of the visit of the home health service provider will depend on the type of treatment that is required for a patient’s particular illness, injury, or any other physiological or psychological condition.
A patient can receive home health care service either at their residence or foster care home. Usually, patients who a licensed doctor medically attests to be homebound due to the nature of their illness or their age receive home health services. However, at times an ill or injured individual would also prefer to receive their treatment at home.
For many people recovering from any illness takes more than just consuming the proper medication at the right time. Instead, they feel the need to stay at their home to be surrounded by the support of their family, a cheerful homely ambiance, and to keep up their willpower to get better.
Continue reading below to learn about the main differences between home care and home health, the benefits of receiving home health, and the primary medical services that come under home health.
What is the Difference Between Home Care and Home Health Care?
Although people mistakenly use the two terms interchangeably, home health care and home care are very different regarding what they include and who receives them.
Home health care refers to the medical or clinically supervised treatments that a patient can receive at their residence or where they’re staying. On the other hand, home care refers to all the non-medical help and services that an ill individual requires to move toward recovery.
What Does Home Health Care Include?
Home health care services include all the medical treatments provided at a professional hospital, private clinic, skilled nursing facility, or any other establishment that offers clinically permitted treatment for recovery.
The only main difference between a home health service and a regular medical service is that the treatment comes to their home instead of patients visiting the medical facility.
Moreover, home health care treatment can only be provided by trained individuals who have received skilled training that qualify them for a medical license or certification. These include doctors, skilled nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and psychologists.
Usually, a person is shifted to home health care after getting some initial stages of their disease or injury treated at a medical facility. Once the patient is stable enough to be moved back home, the patient is discharged from the facility. A new schedule for medical visits is made.
For instance, if a person gets broken in an accident, the initial surgery will be performed at a medical facility. However, the person may be allowed to return home to continue the next part of their recovery. This stage may include regular visits from home health providers for the change of bandage, wound care, and physiotherapy. Moreover, the specialist can also perform any required medical tests during the house visit.
Home health care service can be provided around the clock with a healthcare provider residing at the patient’s home, or it can be provided through daily, weekly, or even monthly visits. It all comes down to the patient’s condition and their particular medical needs.
The cost of home health care services will depend on the type of treatment provided and the frequency and duration of the visits made by the health care providers.
In most states in America, the average medical bill for a full-time home health care service for an adult is almost 4500 USD per month. However, this figure can vary regionally across America and everywhere else.
What Is Home Care, and What Does It Offer?
Home care includes all non-clinical or medical treatments that can be provided to a patient to help them with their recovery or improve the quality of their life. Home care services are provided to individuals who need help to perform everyday activities such as bathing, walking, eating, changing clothes, etc.
One can get involved with a home care providing service by contacting them directly or through some medical agency. Moreover, although home care is most commonly provided to physically or mentally incapable senior citizens, there is no age limit. Children born with disabilities that affect their everyday mobility or social interactions also get help from home care providers.
Furthermore, unlike home health care services, the home care service providers are not licensed or certified doctors or skilled nurses. Instead, these services are provided by trained individuals who are passionate and take care of ill and incapable patients.
In general, home care services offer:
- Assistance with regular activities of daily life (ADLs)
- Help with mobility
- Companionship to the patients by carrying out conversations, doing activities, going out shopping with them, and just spending time together
- Help with medication management. The home care providers are responsible for ensuring the patient receives the correct dosage of medication at the right time specified by a doctor.
- Help with maintaining a healthy diet and preparing everyday meals
- Help keep the living space of the patient clean and organized
The cost of receiving home care will vary according to the frequency and duration of the required service and vary regionally across the US. The average rate for home care services in the US is 24 USD per hour.
Who Needs Home Care Services?
Home care services can help any individual that needs help functioning like normal individuals in society. These people are not inflicted by an injury or an illness that can be treated with medication; instead, their symptoms and condition are either by birth, by old age, or permanent due to some injury.
Home care service providers do not attempt to treat their condition and instead focus on improving the quality of their life. Some people who can benefit from home care services include:
- Senior citizens who are suffering from untreatable arthritis or any other old age disease that affects their everyday activities
- Children born with congenital disabilities need help using the bathroom, eating, moving, changing clothes, etc.
- People who suffer from some form of paralysis or have lost control over their limbs or bowel movements after being in an accident
- Old age people who do not have family around and need companionship
- Children who are unable to make social interactions due to their mental unwellness
What Are the Five Types of Services Provided in Home Health?
Nursing is the most common type of service provided under home health care. This type of service involves a certified nurse who is required to create an at-home treatment plan for the patient. Usually, the nursing care provided at home includes:
- Conducting the necessary medical tests on a patient
- Treating a patient’s wound after surgery and changing their bandages
- Setting up an IV or giving the patient injections needed in their treatment
- Prescribing and changing a patient’s medication and managing the dosage
- Monitoring the patient’s health and recovery
Usually, doctor care home health service is provided when the patient has not yet visited a hospital and the initial diagnosis has yet to be made. The doctor will have the authority to prescribe the medication and create a plan for the nurse’s visit.
Companionship and Volunteer Care
Due to their illness, some medically homebound patients end up having their relationships and social interactions compromised. The companionship and volunteer care providers are trained to be compassionate towards their patient’s needs to fill the void of companionship by spending time with them.
These home health providers can indulge in conversations, help the patient partake in hobbies, and help the patients reconnect with their loved ones.
Some patients still need wound care and dressing, injectable medications, and intravenous therapy in their recovery process. The pharmaceutical service providers are trained to perform these medical activities and ensure the patient receives their required clinical treatment in the prescribed time.
These home health providers are skilled enough to handle complex medical equipment. They can retrieve blood or urine samples from the patient for required laboratory tests.
Required Medical Therapy
The home health care providers trained to offer the required medical therapy services usually help improve a recovering patient’s quality of life and assist them with their everyday activities. These activities can include learning to move around again, eating, bathing, changing clothes, preparing meals, doing the laundry, fulfilling occupational responsibilities, etc.
Physical, speech or occupational therapists also come under this category of home health service. They help the recovering patient regain all their former normal abilities to re-enter their occupational routine as generally as possible.
What Are the Benefits of Home Health Care?
- The patient can recover from the comforts of their home. Having the chance to recover around familiar surroundings instead of living through the monotonous routine of a medical facility can boost the patient’s willpower to get better.
- The patient can remain involved in their household and never feel left out or disconnected. This dramatically impacts their psychological health and helps them recover faster.
- Having the uninterrupted support of family and friends can help the patient have a positive attitude towards their condition.
- The patient’s family also appreciates being around the patient to support them. Moreover, they also prefer this setting over frequent visits to the hospital.
- When a skilled nurse or home health care provider is appointed for living at the patient’s house, they can form an empathetic and understanding relationship with the patient. This helps them be more compassionate and better at taking care of the patient.
- A patient can receive a clinical treatment that is just as good as hospital treatment without leaving their home.
- Medicare covers home health care services if a doctor can testify for a patient’s homebound status.
How Does a Patient Qualify for Home Health Care?
- A patient can receive treatment at home if a certified health care provider can testify and provide evidence for the patient’s homebound status.
- Suppose the cost of traveling for a visit to the hospital becomes too much for a patient’s family to afford. In that case, the patient can receive the treatment at home.
- If the patient’s recovery stage no longer involves active clinical treatment or surgery and can be taken care of at home.
- If the patient is too old and traveling to a hospital becomes inconvenient.
Home health care allows a patient to continue their recovery process from the comforts of their home. Living with loved ones is enough to boost a patient’s willpower and morale to recover.
Moreover, it allows the patient and their loved ones to remain involved in one another’s life and helps make sure that no memorable moments are ever missed.