What is Home Health Care?

Older adults don’t necessarily want to move into a retirement home as they get on in years. Home health care is an option that allows them to age gracefully in an environment they’re comfortable with. A nurse may visit or actually live with the patient. Tasks involved in home health care include speech or physical therapy. The nurse could also do household tasks such as cleaning and cooking. It truly depends on the patient’s level of need. A home health aide can boast a variety of credentials. They might be a therapist or nurse who works for a hospital or an independent home health care organization. Cost will likely vary depending on the level of need and how much experience the aide has.


How to Get Proper Care

It takes a significant level of trust to allow someone, even a medical professional, into one’s home for an extended period of time. Conduct a background check first. Start by verifying the health aide’s credentials with their employer. Figure out what certifications the state requires. Use referrals from friends or family. You can also select a caregiver based on their area of expertise. A practice run could also be helpful. Introduce the patient to their potential caregiver and have them spend a day together. The caregiver will get used to the routines and needs of the patient and you can assess if their personalities are a good fit. After all, bedside manner is just as critical as practical expertise. This quality can be especially true if the patient has behavior problems or memory concerns. Companionship is another way that health aides make their patients feel better. Plus, it’s not just the patient that the aide needs to “click” with. The aide could be assisting the patient for a long time so they should fit in with the family as well.


Who Should Use It?

Home health care is best for older adults who feel less comfortable performing daily tasks themselves but who don’t feel ready for a facility. They could also be recovering from a recent illness or injury that exacerbates the existing difficulties of age. The patient might have dietary restrictions that make it difficult to prepare food. They might have mobility issues such as a cane, walker, or wheelchair. A health aide can help them find balance both literally and figuratively. The aide can also keep track of medications and administer them on the proper schedule. As the aide works with the patient they will learn how to anticipate and alleviate potential emergencies. It takes the burden off family members and gives the patient a greater amount of independence and self-confidence.