Provided in the comfort and familiarity of your own home, home care includes a wide range of medical and non-medical services for many different types of people. Home care can greatly improve your quality of life by helping you to reach your highest potential and return you to activities you previously enjoyed.
When is home care appropriate?
Regardless of age, home care might be right if you:
•Have been paralyzed, confined to a wheelchair or require crutches to walk due to a stroke
•Require assistance to leave home due to blindness or dementia
•Are returning from the hospital and your activities have been restricted by your physician and you need wound care, IV therapy or some other skilled nursing care
•Are a newly diagnosed diabetic who needs teaching to manage the disease
•Have a psychiatric diagnosis and are determined to be psychiatrically home-bound
•Require continuous care following a catastrophic event such as a car accident or work-related injury
•Various other conditions qualify, please request a consult.
If you or a loved one answer yes to any of these questions, home care might be appropriate.
•Are you unable to readily leave your home due to safety/fall concerns?
•Is walking becoming more difficult? Have you fallen within the last three months?
•Does depression keep you from going out and enjoying life?
•Has your quality of life suffered because of an illness or medical condition?
•Do you need help managing your illness or medical condition?
•Do you have difficulty understanding which medications you should be taking and why?
Home Care Services - Skilled Home Healthcare
Skilled Home Healthcare is medically-focused care which is covered by Medicare and other types of health insurance. The patient must meet certain eligibility criteria. Services can include both medical and non-medical assistance, like bathing and dressing. Typically the visits are intermittent and the duration of services provided is short-term. Non-medical services alone are not covered.
A person may be eligible for skilled home healthcare services if they are home-bound and meet some of the following eligibility criteria:
Returned from hospital: A person who has just come home from the hospital or nursing home or who has had recent surgery, or who has had recent falls resulting in hospitalization.
Wounds: A person with a sore/wound that requires more than application of antibiotic ointment and a Band-Aid, or a wound that does not heal.
Medications: A person who has had recent medication changes, especially new medications or insulin.
Blood Pressure/Diabetes: A person who has blood pressure, or glucose readings that are unusually high or low, or are high or low all the time; a person who has blood sugar values that go up high or down low, or are high or low all the time, or has trouble with managing their diabetes.
•A person who has had a fall.
•A person with a new problem walking or getting dressed/ready for the day.
•A person with increased confusion/tiredness, inability to pay attention.
•Severe/genuine complaint of pain or discomfort.
•Severe loss of weight/appetite.
•Swelling, especially in the legs.
•Infections with or without prescription of antibiotics.
What is my doctor's role?
You should first consult with your physician to determine if you might need skilled home healthcare. The home health care provider you choose will then work in consultation with your doctor.
Who can request or make a home health referral?
Anyone can make a request for a home health evaluation. The patient, a family member, or your physician. However, you must have a doctor's order to receive most home health services.
What are my rights as a home healthcare patient?
According to federal law, home healthcare patients are free to choose which institution, agency or person will provide their home care services.