The Benefits of Home Health Care
“My 94-year-old father has always said that he doesn’t want to be a burden on his family, but at the same time, he is adamant about staying in his own home, even though as time passes he requires more and more help from others. With part-time home health care, he is doing quite well for a person his age. The few times when he has had to be hospitalized or spend time in a rehab center, he becomes depressed and often disoriented. We can see the benefits to his health when he is at home, and we certainly feel the benefits of having home health care specialists help with the many tasks required to keep him happy and healthy at home.” Marti Lythgoe.
Who needs home health care?
The elderly are not the only people who need and can benefit from specialized home health care. There are many reasons why people may need and can benefit from health care services at home. Some are recovering from surgery or have a chronic condition that requires ongoing care. Others need certain therapies or complex medical monitoring one might think are only available in a hospital or rehab center. Some simply could use assistance with activities of daily living, like bathing or administering medication. Some need part-time care, while others need a trained aide or nurse present around-the-clock. Everyone’s situation is different, but almost everyone can benefit from being cared for at home.
What are the specific benefits?
In addition to being the type of care most patients prefer, the following are just some of the proven benefits of being cared for at home:
- Decreases the risk of infection compared to care in hospitals or care centers.
- Promotes the development of ongoing strategies to improve the patients’ quality of life; it is tailored to the needs of the individual.
- Speeds up recuperation from illness, injury, or surgical procedures. As shown by medical studies, patients heal more quickly and successfully when recovering at home versus in a medical facility.
- Enables a faster recovery because of familiar surroundings and the comfort of family and friends nearby. Provides companionship and helps people not only medically, but emotionally.
- Extends longevity, as proved by schools of nursing and government agency studies.
- Provides patients with a greater sense of privacy, dignity and personal choices regarding meals, schedules and other activities of daily living.
- Improves many patients’ ability to walk or move around, get in and out of bed, have less pain when moving around, improve bladder control and get better at bathing and personal hygiene.
- Reduces stress for the client and their loved ones. Home care involves the individual and the family in the care that is delivered. The patient and his or her family are taught to participate in their health care. They are taught how to get well, and how to stay that way.
Can you afford it?
“In general, home care costs only one-tenth as much as hospitalization and only one-fourth as much as nursing home placement to deal with comparable health problems…. A study by the U.S. General Accounting Office has established that people receiving home care tend to live longer and have a better quality of life. Home care helps not only add years to life, but ‘life to years.’” (See http://www.theseniorschoice.com/mm/the-benefits-of-in-home-care.html)
Not only is home health care preferred by most people, it’s a fiscally responsible method of care. The evidence from studies around the world (including massive new studies in Canada), demonstrates that home care is always far less expensive than hospitalization and almost always less costly than comparable placement in a nursing home. Do your own research and compare the costs to what you would pay for a loved one to live in a nursing home or assisted living facility. In most cases, home health care is more cost-effective.
Where to turn for Help?
When a loved one is aging or has an acute or chronic illness, it is critical that they receive appropriate nutrition, medication, rest, and medical supervision. For many people, home health care professionals can help loved ones maintain their level of wellness for a longer period of time. Furthermore, with in-home care, families that are unable to serve as primary caregivers have the benefit of knowing that their loved ones are receiving professional, compassionate, and personalized care in the convenience of their own homes. Technology now has developed to the point where many services, once only available in a hospital, can be offered at home. By and large, employees of home care agencies look at their work, not as a job or profession, but as a calling. Home care workers are highly trained and dedicated to their work. A typical home health care visit occurs in a two to four hour block of time two to three times a week. But often extended, critical care can be difficult to find.
DTN Home Care can provide services to people with high acuity medical needs, around-the-clock or as needed. We assign an experienced case manager and registered nurse to visit the home, evaluate and assess the person’s needs and work with the client, family and home care staff to draft and implement an individualized plan of care. To inquire about in home health care from DTN Home Care for yourself or a loved one, call 701.663.5373.
Vice President, Dakota Travel Nurse Home Care, Inc.