Home is where the heart is - and it's where your loved one wants to be. For years he's built a life inside these walls, forging memories and experiences. Leaving them behind is impossible, even as his health begins to deteriorate and his need for full-time care grows. He wants to maintain a sense of independence and you want to provide that for him.
This is why you turn to Home Health Care services, connecting him to the dedicated support he needs.
What is Home Health Care?
Home Health Care is a program intended to promote normalcy. It allows patients to remain in their houses, apartments, condos, and more - even as they experience medical complications. Its focus is evenly divided between physical recovery and emotional well-being. This is why its services are broad, applying to:
- Patients recovering from an injury.
- Patients who are disabled.
- Patients in need of daily living assistance.
- Patients who are chronically ill.
- Patients who are terminally ill.
Home Health Care connects seniors to a variety of medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, counselors, rehabilitation therapists, and more, to keep them where they wish to be.
What Services do Home Health Care Workers Provide?
Home Health Care professionals serve as both physicians and companions, delivering a series of essential services to their patients. These include:
- Pain Management
- Wound Care
- Physical Therapy
- Behavioral Therapy
- Speech Therapy
- Nutrition Planning
- Personal Care Assistance (including bathing, dressing, and grooming)
- Homemaker Assistance (including cleaning, laundry services, and shopping)
Who Most Often Requires Home Health Care?
Due to its broad nature, Home Health Care attracts a wide demographic of patients. Individuals of any age can take advantage of this service. However, it's most often used by seniors, with the Center for Disease Control noting a sharp rise in patient totals during recent years:
Ages: 65 to 74
Ages: 75 to 84
Ages: 85 and older
This survey proves that women rely on in-home treatments more than men. Further analysis, however, shows that men typically require more comprehensive care:
Treatment: Wound Care and/or Pain Management
Treatment: Physical Therapy and/or Rehabilitation
What is the Cost of Home Health Care?
Affording Home Health Care proves difficult for many, with regional costs rising each year. Consider this study, conducted by a Place for Mom:
This proves a national average of $2,520. It also proves the need for superior financial planning.
What Does Medicare Cover?
Medicare is the chosen insurance option for many seniors, offering a variety of coverage applications and options. Its lower eligibility threshold also ensures that patients receive the Home Health Care services they deserve.
Medicare eligibility requirements for this program include:One: Patients must be under the care of (and regularly serviced by) a doctor.Two: Patients must receive doctor verification that they need intermittent skilled nursing care, physical therapy, speech or pathology therapy, or occupational therapy. Three: Patients must use an agency approved by Medicare.Four: Patients must be homebound, as verified by a doctor. This is determined by:Leaving home will negatively impact patient's health.
Patient's condition makes it impossible for him/her to leave without help (including wheelchair, ambulance, or other forms of specialized transportation).Leaving home requires taxing and considerable effort.
Those meeting these conditions will receive Medicare aid, with the program compensating for most (and sometimes all) Health Care costs.
What Does Medicaid Cover?
Medicaid serves as an insurance plan for those of low incomes or those over the age of 64. Its coverage extends to the Home Health Care system, ensuring access to medical equipment, therapies, and more. To apply for this program, individuals must:
One: Have a need for in-home medical assistance.
Two: Have a need to remain at home as to avoid placement within a nursing facility, hospice facility, or similar center.
Those eligible for Medicaid will then receive state waivers, dictating their available services and treatments. Seniors should note, however, that each state carries its own Home Health Care limitations and there are extreme variations between these.
Compare Alabama and Connecticut, for example:
Prior Approval Required: Initiation of care and use of medical equipment.
Limits on Service Days: 104 total visits per year, with no more than 2 visits per week.
Prior Approval Required: Therapies needed after first hospital visit and/or skilled nursing care needed after second hospital visit.
Limits on Service Days: 2 skilled nurse visits per week, not to exceed 20 hours in total services.
Each state applies the Medicaid program differently. It's important, therefore, to research all available policy options and seek supplemental help (such as private insurance) whenever necessary.
The Importance of Home Health Care
Home Health Care is a key medical service, helping seniors maintain their routines while still receiving the help they need. According to a recent survey by Medicare:
- 91% of American seniors favor Home Health benefits.
- 87% of American seniors prefer to receive medical treatments at home.
- 89% of American seniors oppose any cuts to the Medicare Home Health budget.
- 79% of American seniors are more likely to support political figures and/or community leaders who fight for extended Home Health benefits.
These numbers showcase the importance of this program, proving that in-home treatment is a viable alternative to traditional hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities.
You want to provide only the best for your loved one. This is why you can turn to Home Health Care agencies, allowing them to create the physical, mental, and emotional strategies needed to promote a better quality of life.