Term:

Home Health




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Description:

"Home care" and "home health" are essentially interchangeable terms used to describe health care given in a patients home by a practicing professional. There are generally two types of "caregivers" or "home health" professionals, medical and non-medical. Medical home care professionals (nurses) provide assistance to patients with medical needs like wound dressing, or injections. Non-medical home care professionals provide help with everyday activities: eating, dressing, bathing. The particular practitioner helps increase the patients ability to perform everyday tasks on their own. Nurses have been visiting homes for years. As the demand for home visits grew, they began to be sponsored. MetLife and The Red Cross were the first to jump on board. It declined in the middle of the 20th century but increased again as hospital fees rose. In 1965, Medicare began offering benefits for home health patients and was soon followed by Medicaid. Home health is now provided across the nation by many organizations such as home health agencies, hospices, homemaker and home care aide agencies, and companies that specialize in medical supplies. Since it involves the elderly in many cases, Medicare usually covers the bulk of the cost. Home health care encompasses a wide range of health care services that can be given in your home. Home health care is usually less expensive, more convenient, and just as effective as care you get in a hospital. It is also important to note that in order to cover home health care, Medicare and other health insurance plans have certain requirements. For example, Medicare requires you to be "home bound". Home Care





Examples:

Home health can be divided into two main categories; skilled services and health aide services
1) Skilled Services (MEDICAL (Nurses or Doctors)) Include:
  • Wound care for pressure sores or a surgical wound
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Speech-language therapy
  • Patient and caregiver education
  • Intravenous or nutrition therapy
  • Injections
  • Monitoring serious illness and unstable health status
  • Taking vital signs
  • Providing Treatment

2) Health Aide Services Are:
  • Help with basic daily activities like getting in and out of bed, dressing, bathing, eating, and using the bathroom
  • Help with light housekeeping, laundry, shopping, and cooking for the patient
  • Assistance with mobility, errands for the patient

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Application:

  • Home health vs home care: Home health care is related to the medical care in home, while home care is the basic everyday activities that patients need help with.

  • Home health has many different applications. Home health agencies are stocked with a full medical staff of doctors, nurses, therapist, social workers, and volunteers. They are deploy teams of people to suit each patients particular need. People receive care for wound treatment, physical therapy, or because they are disabled or ill. Treatment can include assisting with daily tasks, giving medicine, managing pain, therapeutic treatment, or companionship.

  • Hospices are for patients who are terminally ill. Hospices not only provide medical support, but they also provide emotional support for the patient and their family. Their purpose is to control the patients pain to the remain as comfortable as possible during their remaining time. most care is given at home so patients can have their privacy and be with their families.

  • Home care aide agencies are mainly charged with the task of performing tasks for their patient such as bathing, dressing, and housekeeping.

Related terms:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Hospice
  • Assisted Living
  • Interim Health Care
  • Certified Nursing Assistant
  • Home-care Agencies
  • Caregivers
  • ADLs (Activities of daily living)

Sources:

1) http://seniorhealth.about.com/library/eldercare/blhomecare.htm
2) http://www.athomehealth.org/
3) Home Health Agency
4) Wikipedia Home Health
5) http://www.maximhomecare.com/glossary/

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