We often associate growing older with increased responsibility and independence, however, for those who are elderly growing older can often result in a loss of independence. Depending on the person and their healthcare needs they may be moved to a Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, hospitalized, or introduced to home care.

What is Home Care?

Home care is a preventative type of care for people (often the elderly) that allows them to live at home and maintain their sense of independence while receiving the help they need to maintain their healthcare needs. This type of care would often follow a recent change in a medical condition or hospitalization. A person’s home is often the best healing environment as it is the place where they are the most comfortable. In fact, sometimes the stress of being hospitalized can increase the time it takes one to heal.

Home care is personal. One primarily beneficial aspect of home care is the relationship that patients develop with their caregiver. Caregivers visit with their patients regularly to assess their condition, provide prescribed treatments and educate on their disease process. The regularity of visits helps caregivers to stay up-to-date on their patients and how they are progressing. This relationship and consistency helps patients to avoid explaining their situation to a set of unfamiliar doctors or nurses each time they have an issue. Instead, their caregiver is able to address the situation with a full historic knowledge of the patient.

What to expect from home care

A doctor’s referral is needed to begin home care services. Once referred, the patient will likely meet with a care clinician (Nurse or Therapist) to assess their specific needs.  The caregiver may offer the following assistance:

  • Coordinate care with your primary care doctor ensuring communication is clear and frequent.
  • Address your food and drinking habits – refer to a home food delivery service, like meals on wheels, if needed.
  • Regularly monitor your vital signs like blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and breathing and other symptoms related to chronic disease processes.
  • Assist with medication management and education as needed.
  • Inspect home for safety concerns, and address them as needed.
  • Evaluate for any pain.
  • Teach and communicate care plan to help patients feel more independent and in control of their health.

The goals of home care are simple — treating an illness or injury to help you regain your independence and be as self-sufficient as possible, all while helping  heal, and maintain or slow one’s decline of functionality.

In addition to the previously addressed expectations you might be interested in knowing that a home care clinician will likely possess the following capabilities, such as:

  • Monitoring your health status
  • Home Infusion Therapy
  • Specialized wound care
  • Injections
  • Nutrition management
  • Orthopedic care
  • Post-surgical care

Home care isn’t beneficial without a good home care professional

The benefits of home care are priceless. The cost savings, faster recovery and healing, and the independence gained from being cared for in your own home allow you to be around family and friends more regularly than if you were to be hospitalized.

The biggest benefit of home care is having a healthcare professional in your circle. They know you, your health, and what you need to heal.

If you’re interested in learning more about home care services consult your doctor.