What is Home Health?
Home Health is comprised of medical care, personalized assistance and/or rehabilitative therapy provided to patients who are unable to receive the same services outside of their home due to temporary or chronic physical limitations. Based on a person's insurance benefits, other possible services may include social work, respite care or housekeeping.
View the video to the right to learn more, or find an HHAU member agency in your area by visiting Find a Home Health Provider.
Home Health Services
Nursing Services: Home Health Nurses are skilled at monitoring and caring for patient’s medical needs (e.g. vital signs, medication & pain management, diagnosis specific education and specialty tasks such as wound care). Nurses serve as liaisons between you and your physician, keeping them apprised of your care and progress.
Physical Therapy (PT): PT helps to address a number of physical impairments, including decreased strength, range-of-motion, balance, pain, and mobility (e.g. standing, walking, climbing stairs, and acquiring/training in use of an assistive device). Many patients receiving home health will have PT as part of their program, because difficulty leaving home is often related to an area that can be addressed through a Therapist’s or Assistant’s skills.
Occupational Therapy (OT): Despite the popular misconception, Occupational Therapy is not designed to help you find a job. Instead, OT's are experts at improving performance with Activities of Daily Living (i.e. tasks that “occupy” a person’s day). For example, OT can help improve performance related to dressing, bathing, eating, etc. Therapists can also make recommendations to improve safety and independence, acquire adaptive equipment and train family/caregivers in care.
Speech-Language Therapy (ST): Speech Language Pathologists, or SLP's, treat so much more than speech alone. In addition to speech sounds, fluency, language and voice, therapy may help to address social communication, feeding/swallowing and cognition.
Social Workers: Home Health Social Workers are compassionate and capable individuals who can assess a patients’ family/social needs and help them to access available resources for which they may be eligible; including, but not limited to, financial assistance, government health insurance, respite care, housing, food, counseling, and placement in an Assisted Living Facility or Hospice program.
Home Health Aides: Home Health Aids or CNA's provide valuable assistance with components of a patient’s care that do not require the skills of a Nurse or Therapist. Responsibilities may include helping a patient to bathe, dress & groom; performing light housework; preparing/serving light meals; supporting a home exercise program; and monitoring/alerting the Nurse of patient condition.
Where to Start
Any physician can sign an order for home health. However, certain criteria must be met in order for the patient to be eligible to receive services. The most important of these requirements, is that the patient meet "Homebound Status." This doesn't mean that the patient is not able to leave their home, but that they must be dependent on another person to do so and/or leaving the home requires a considerable and taxing effort. Medicare and many private insurances permit absences from the home for medical appointments, and for brief absences for certain unique non-medical purposes (e.g. religious services, funerals, graduations and the occasional family reunion). Once a patient is able to return to more regular activity outside of the home, they should also be prepared to receive any remaining medical/therapy needs in the community as well.
Besides being necessary for many people, home health services are advanageous to patients because Medicare, Med Advantage plans and Medicaid cover care at 100% for eligible candidates, without any co-pay.
If you think that you might be in need of home health therapy services now or in the near future, contact your primary care or specialist physician to start a conversation, or Find a Home Health Provider and call them with any questions that you might have.
About the Association
HHAU is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization. Your donations, membership, sponsporship and volunteerism are used to help support services provided by Utah's Homecare & Hospice industries to our loved ones, neighbors and friends. Thank You for your support!
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