They say home is where the heart is. And for countless individuals, home is also where the health care is. When you think about receiving health services, hospitals and clinics are likely the first places that come to mind. But you might be surprised at just how many services can be administered at home.
If you or a loved one needs medical support, whether it be short-term or long-term, health care in the home is a fantastic option for those who want to prioritize comfort and familiarity while preserving their normal. It simply boils down to choosing the services that best fit the needs of the client.
Both routine and specialized care can be administered as in-home health care. Let’s go over a few of the many services that are typically available outside of a traditional clinical setting.
Skilled Nursing Care
Health care in the home brings the nursing station to you. This service involves the provision of specialized nursing services by registered nurses (RNs) or licensed practical nurses (LPNs) in the home, who are trained to perform complex medical tasks that require clinical expertise.
- Monitoring vital signs such as pulse, temperature, and blood pressure.
- Medication management, including documenting prescriptions and reminding clients to take the right medications at the right times.
- IV therapy, namely administering intravenous medication at home while respecting the same safety and sanitary measures as in-hospital care.
Physical therapy is a branch of health care that focuses on improving mobility, restoring physical function, and alleviating pain through therapeutic exercises and techniques. It can be used in a wide range of situations, including treating acute injuries, providing post-operative support, and managing chronic pain.
- Rehabilitation exercises such as stretching, that are adapted to the tools and equipment clients have at home.
- Mobility improvement, which is an especially valuable at-home health care service for those who are unable to transport themselves to a clinic.
- Pain management for acute and long-term injuries or illnesses.
Occupational therapy aims to help individuals regain or enhance their ability to perform daily activities and tasks that are meaningful to them. Many of these tasks and routines are directly related to the home, creating a quasi-immersive environment for this type of therapy to take place.
- Retraining skills for daily life including self-care, household management, childcare, and workplace tasks.
- Adaptive equipment recommendations such as canes, walkers, wheelchairs, or any other devices designed to get clients back on their feet.
- Cognitive function improvement such as breaking down tasks into simpler steps to slowly rebuild certain abilities.
Speech therapists in home health care work with clients who may have suffered from strokes, neurological disorders, or other conditions that affect speech and language functions.
- Speech and language exercises including physical movements and phonological processing.
- Communication skills enhancement, from improving self-expression to better understanding what others are trying to communicate to you.
- Swallowing therapy to improve muscle control of the mouth, throat, and tongue, with the ultimate goal of swallowing safely and easily.
Health is a mosaic that extends beyond medication and nursing support; some clients also require help managing routine tasks and personal maintenance. Non-medical services are essential for supporting individuals who need assistance with daily activities but do not require specialized medical support.
Personal Care Assistance
Personal care assistance involves helping individuals with various activities related to their personal hygiene, grooming, and self-care.
- Bathing and dressing assistance for individuals with reduced mobility or cognitive issues.
- Personal hygiene care to support clients’ general health and wellness.
Home Care Services
Home care services encompass a wide range of non-medical support that allows individuals to remain in their homes while receiving assistance with various daily tasks.
- Meal preparation, such as purchasing groceries and cooking food, to keep clients properly nourished.
- Housekeeping to maintain a clean and tidy environment.
- Companionship and emotional support as clients navigate challenging health journeys.
Respite care provides temporary relief and support to primary caregivers who are responsible for looking after individuals with disabilities, chronic illnesses, or other care needs.
Trained staff, volunteers, or personal care providers can step in for anywhere from a few hours to overnight, providing in-home services while primary caregivers take a break.
Medical Social Services
Medical social services involve addressing the social, emotional, and psychological aspects of a client’s well-being within the home health care context.
How they can help:
- Counseling and emotional support
- Assistance with financial and social resources, especially if they are required to take a short-term or permanent absence from work.
- Care planning and coordination, which can be streamlined with home care software.
Specialized Home Care Services
Specialized home care services refer to tailored care options that address specific and unique needs of certain client populations.
Palliative care is a specialized approach to care that focuses on improving the quality of life for individuals facing serious illnesses or conditions.
- Emotional and social support to cope with challenging health circumstances and grief.
- Pain and symptom management to make clients’ health care as comfortable and dignified as possible.
Hospice care is a specialized form of care that is provided to individuals who are nearing the end of their life journey, often when curative treatments are no longer effective or desired.
- End-of-life care and support that maximizes client comfort and manages pain.
- Emotional support for families as they navigate complex emotions and grief.
Pediatric Home Care
Pediatric home care refers to specialized care services designed for infants, children, and adolescents with medical needs that require ongoing support. If parents or caregivers need support while a specialist is not present, some home care platforms offer two-way chat so they can receive prompt answers to their questions.
- Administering medications, ensuring they are taken on time and following the proper directives.
- Developmental therapies, including physical and cognitive therapy, to either manage or improve the client’s condition.
- Family education that sets parents and caregivers up to properly address their child’s needs.
Chronic Disease Management
Chronic disease management in the context of specialized home care services involves tailored support for individuals with long-term health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and more.
How to Choose the Right Home Care Services?
The home care agency you ultimately choose for yourself or a loved one will depend on the type of services required. If you’re not sure where to begin, consider these decision-making factors.
Assess Your Needs
Consider the individual’s medical conditions, mobility, need for assistance, medication management, and any other specific concerns.
Do Your Research
Look for agencies that have a solid reputation, positive reviews, and appropriate accreditation. Gathering insights from online sources, referrals, and professional recommendations can help identify agencies that are reputable and reliable.
Check Qualifications and Licensing
For medical services, verify that registered nurses (skilled nurses), therapists, or other health care professionals are properly accredited and members of the agency’s staff. Non-medical caregivers should have proper training and background checks.
Prioritize Personalized Care
Ensure that the agency offers customizable care plans that can be adjusted as the client’s needs change over time. One of the main reasons why AxisCare is the #1 home care software is because we always take specific medical conditions, preferences, routines, and any cultural considerations into account.
Verify Cost and Insurance
Inquire about the pricing structure, including hourly rates, any additional fees, and potential discounts. Additionally, clarify whether the services are covered by insurance, Medicare, or other forms of financial assistance.