caretaker Home Health Care: An Option for You?Anne Osmer Reporting

Sally Johnson was in a bind.  Her mother was in the hospital for a bad fall that resulted in a broken hip.  The hospital was ready to discharge her, and Sally was worried. Although she worked part-time and could help with her mother’s care, she couldn’t be there all the time. 

What could she do?

Sally turned to home health care.  She worked with the hospital to determine her mother’s needs, and she did some research to find a home health care agency to provide her mother with physical therapy, help with medications and even meal preparation and bathing.  Both Sally and her mother got the help they needed.

Although Sally’s story is fictitious, it represents the struggle many Americans face as they seek medical care options.  With a rapidly aging population, and as more seniors opt to continue living at home, home health care is growing in popularity.

What is Home Health Care?

Home health care is an option that many seniors and their caregivers choose when medical help at home is needed.  It is usually used to help someone recover from an injury or illness. 

While simple home care services provide housecleaning, meal preparation, and other non-medical services, home health care – while it can include aspects of home care – is medically oriented.

Some of the services home health care can provide:

• Physical, occupational and speech therapy
• In-home nursing and wound care
• Administration of medication
• Counseling on dietary matters
• Coordination of community resources, such as Meals on Wheels
• Education for the patient on self-monitoring and self-medicating
• Coordination of health care with the patient’s physician
• Help with household tasks such as shopping and cooking
• Help with grooming needs

A health care provider can help you determine your specific needs when considering home health care.

Some sources for finding a home health care provider are the Area Agency on Aging 1-B in Southeast Michigan, and the Department of Health & Human Services Eldercare Locator.

© 2010 WWJ Radio, All Rights Reserved.


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