Published on November 16, 2021

Nurse taking blood pressure

What is Home Health Care and When is it Needed?

Discover how home health skilled nursing helps older adults heal from injury, illness and existing chronic conditions and scenarios that describe when it is needed.

Suppose you’ve been in the hospital with an illness or you’ve had surgery. As much as you’d like to return to your normal activities at the same pace as before, your recovery and rehabilitation take time. Your doctor may recommend a new medicine, exercise or dietary routine. Or you might need to make a few lifestyle adjustments.

Whatever the case, home health skilled care may be the right direction for you. The goal is to help you recover as completely as possible after a hospital stay — or to help you manage an existing illness — in the comfort of your own home.

Who uses home health care?

People of all ages who want to live independently for as long as possible are good candidates for skilled home care.

Here are a few scenarios:

  • You’ve just had surgery — including hip, knee or shoulder replacement, heart surgery, cancer surgery, or surgery for traumatic injuries. You need to rebuild strength or receive special post-surgical care.
  • You’re staying at an inpatient rehabilitation facility. It’s time for you to go home, but you need a little more physical therapy. You also need to make sure you can dress, bathe and prepare food safely at home.
  • You’ve had a stroke. It’s affected your speech and movement. So, you need certified rehab therapists to work with you, on an ongoing basis, to regain as much ability as possible.
  • You have a chronic condition — such as diabetes, arthritis, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure or breathing issues. And you need skilled care to stay healthy.
  • You have dementia, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease. You need help to manage your medicines and other aspects of your condition.

What kind of skilled services does home health care provide?

When you’re trying to recover, regain your energy, or manage an illness, getting the right type of rehabilitation and exercise therapy is important.
Home health care includes skilled nursing care, as well as other care services, like physical, occupational and speech therapy.

Certified, trained professionals come to work with you in your own home. No need to worry about transportation to and from a fitness or rehab center.

Registered nurses and other professional caregivers also provide many other skilled services you or your loved one might need at home, including:

  • Injections and blood draws
  • Medication management to ensure accuracy and monitor side effects
  • Care for surgical wounds, stomas, fistulas and burns
  • Tube feeding
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Catheter care
  • Home assessments and recommendations to prevent falls and keep you safe at home
  • Dietary screenings to make sure you’re getting proper nutrition
  • Education and training to help you or your loved one live as independently as possible

Overall benefits of home health skilled care

After a hospital stay, you may be eager to return home to your familiar surroundings. Home health skilled care helps you make the transition safely, providing the expert medical attention required to recover more fully and regain strength at home.

A therapist’s trained eye will help you spot fall hazards around the house, provide preventive advice, and help safely address your changing needs at home.

Home health care may also help you avoid setbacks that lead to a medical emergency or readmission to the hospital. It may even delay the need for long-term nursing home care.

And if you’ve been living with a chronic medical condition — whether you’ve been to the hospital or not — home health skilled care helps you manage your illness and stay as healthy as possible.

Is skilled home care right for you or your loved one?

To find out whether skilled home care is a smart next step for you, talk with your primary care doctor. If you or your loved one is currently in a hospital or rehabilitation facility, talk with your care coordinator there. You may need a referral for certain services.

For your convenience, we offer a home-care consultation at Adventist HealthCare Home Care Services. Call 301-592-4400 to talk to an Adventist HealthCare nurse about a personalized home health care plan.

Or, you can request a home-care consultation and needs assessment online.

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