November is National Home Care and Hospice Month in the United States.
Home care is skilled healthcare brought to a patient in the comfort of wherever he or she calls home as prescribed by a doctor. Just like traditional healthcare provided at
a hospital, clinic or office, the type of care is dictated by the diagnosis, individual patient goals and progress.
Home healthcare and hospice care are not the same thing. Hospice is comfort care for patients with a prognosis of six months or less if their disease runs its natural course.
Home care is provided by an array of skilled healthcare professionals. In the rehabilitation setting, provision of care includes, but is not limited to, registered nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech/language pathologists and acupuncturists. Length of service (amount, frequency and time period) is determined by the goals of care or until a plateau occurs.
A patient does not necessarily have to be homebound to receive home care; a person who has notable difficulty leaving the house may also qualify. Notable difficulty leaving the house can come in many forms, including:
A physical disability that creates an inability to get out of bed due to weakness from prolonged bed rest
Mental health issues, such as those that cause extreme anxiety upon leaving the home
Lack of transportation and having no family members or a caregiver to assist with getting to and from appointments
Inappropriate entryways or exit ways at the home in circumstances such as where a patient has had a procedure like a hip or a knee replacement, but lives on the second floor of an apartment complex with no elevator
Home healthcare goals are set similarly to inpatient (in hospital) and outpatient goals and are not indefinite in length. Home healthcare ends when all goals are met, the patient has improved enough to attend outpatient therapy or the patient’s condition can no longer be controlled at home.
To find out more about how to achieve your rehabilitation goals, contact a healthcare professional at Align Wellness Studio.
Kristina Maxwell is a doctor of physiotherapy at Align, a wellness studio with an integrated approach to physical rehabilitative treatments and preventative care.