Private home care promotes faster, safer recovery
When someone you know suffers an illness, heart attack or stroke the road to recovery can be long and difficult. Depending on the severity they may go from the hospital to a skilled nursing rehabilitation facility. If rehabilitation is required it may involve physical, speech or occupational therapy. The goal of the SNF is to improve the health and ability of the individual in order for them to return home safely.
Medicare data shows that nearly 1 in 5 patients who leave the hospital or a SNF are readmitted within the next month and that more than 75 percent of those readmissions are preventable.
When someone leaves a hospital or SNF they are usually healthy enough to return home but may still require additional care and recovery time. The top five reasons for re-admission to the hospital within 30 days include:
• Non-compliance with lifestyle change recommendations from doctors or therapists
• Failure to take medication correctly, including required regimen changes
• Patient not properly directed or informed of available home health ser vices
• Lack of follow through on care, doctor appointments and tests once discharged
• Failure of doctors to encourage home health services
Suffering a fall or an accident once an individual returns home is common. Depending on the severity it may create new medical issues such as a broken bone or head trauma. Many families hire a private home care agency to provide an aide/caregiver to assist their loved one at critical points during the day such as showering/bathing and dressing. A small amount of extra help with activities of daily living at home during the early stages of recovery can be life saving.
Private home care aides/ caregivers can provide the following to help with recovery:
• Medication management and supervision to ensure regimen changes are adhered to
• Fall prevention to reduce the chance of re-injury
• Grocery shopping and preparation of balanced meals
• Assistance with personal care which helps prevent infections and falls
• Transportation to doctor appointments, tests, and necessary follow up appointments
• Encouragement of life style changes while family members are not at home to assist
• Early identification of complications or return of conditions
• Assistance with exercises prescribed by therapists
Home care assistance will not prevent all return trips to the hospital or a SNF but it will greatly reduce the chance that someone needs to go back and or reduce the length of the required stay if issues are identified early. The key is the development of a proper plan of care by a registered nurse and periodic supervision to make sure the patient is following the plan.
Home care can be tailored to meet each patient’s specific needs from a few hours per day to 24/7. It can last for a day, a week, several months or long term depending on the individual and family’s needs. It can also start out with longer shifts and decrease as the patient improves and then be eliminated once they have recovered.
The cost of private home care is not covered by Medicare. In most cases it is paid by the patient, family or long term care insurance and is in the range of $21 to $24 per hour.
Many families believe the benefits far out way the cost especially in the first few weeks/months after your loved one has returned home. That is why more and more people are choosing home care to make sure their loved has the best chance at recovery. No one wants someone’s health to decline due to a fall that could have been avoided or from a lack of effort in doing what is required to improve their health.