Why A Home Health Nurse Could Help You Stay At Home Longer12 minute read

12 minute read

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Updated for November, 2018

It’s no secret that the majority of seniors these days prefer to remain in their own homes as long as possible during their golden years. It’s not only a preference but more and more a realistic and achievable goal for many people to stay out of a nursing home. We know that aging means change, whether we like it or not. Taking care of our mental, physical, and emotional health can reduce the negative effects of aging, but unexpected declines in our health can happen.

Smiling woman and happy grandmother

Depending on the type of medical plan you have (Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance) the expense of a home health nurses can be covered to some degree.

When our health becomes our predominant concern and an obstacle to living a quality independent life at home, it’s time to make some changes and get help with long-term care. Planning, consulting with family and health experts, and making necessary changes and adjustments as needed will go a long way to helping you stay in the comfort of your home.

If you require medical observation, therapy, and assistance on a daily or intermittent level, then employing a home health nurse for in-home health care might be key to helping you stay at home longer as you age. To find out more about how this might help you, read on for more details.

A home health nurse can provide medical attention and skilled care you need so you don’t need to be hospitalized or in a nursing or assisted care home.

Nurse with clipboard writing results of blood pressure measurement of female senior patient.

Perhaps you have a chronic medical condition or several health issues compounded with reduced mobility or just need more in-home care with your managing your health on a daily basis. In most cases, a home health nurse can provide medical attention and skilled care you need so you don’t need to be hospitalized or in a nursing or assisted care home. Staying in the comfort of your own home in-spite of your health issues is the main benefit of a home health nurse.

The ways a home health nurse can help you stay at home longer include:

  1. Consistent health monitoring and treatment
  2. Caring and companionship
  3. Medication management and administration
  4. Basic ADL assistance
  5. Skilled and certified care

1. Consistent Health Monitoring and Treatment

Home care nurses regularly assess your health and monitor vitals and watch out for how you react to your medications. Some nurses are qualified to administer treatments, such as therapeutic rehabilitation as prescribed by your doctor, which can also assist with recovery and health maintenance. Also, your home health nurse will report to your physician and possibly your family about your health and any important changes. This means everyone is aware and involved with your well-being, which is a good thing and can go a long way in ensuring the stability of your health.

Having a caring individual that assists you with your health and well-being is important in staying positive, feeling secure, and well looked after.

Young helpful doctor taking care of senior woman in nursing home

2. Caring and Companionship

Your home health nurse is responsible to look after your well-being while you maintain the dignified independence of living in your home. Having a caring individual that assists you with your health and well-being is important in staying positive, feeling secure, and well looked after. Don’t underestimate how important this is for the stability of someone’s health on a physical and mental and emotional level.

3. Medication Management and Administration

Home health nurses or in-home health care nurses can administer prescribed medications to their patients, including medication administered intravenously. Although not able to prescribe medications, they are able to make changes to the patient’s dosage with the approval of a physician. Consistent medication administration is key to stabilizing health and getting the most of your prescribed therapy.

00-Year-Old woman and her home healthcare nurse.

4. Basic Activity of Daily Living Assistance

These fundamental living activities (such as bathing, toileting, and grooming) are necessary for maintaining dignity and quality of life. If you become unable to properly perform these duties effective alone, it is comforting to know that your home health nurse is trained to be capable of performing such duties and can assist you.

5. Skilled and Certified Care

Your home health nurse is an educated, certified, and licensed professional. Also, they are required to continually update and upgrade their training to remain licensed and certified. Having skilled nursing care is important to maintaining and stabilizing your health and well-being which will help you to stay in your home as you age.

It’s important to confirm the full range of skilled medical services home-health agencies can provide and if they have qualified, certified nursing staff available for the types of services you require.

Many home health nurses work through agencies, commonly referred to as “home health agencies.” When contacting an agency, it’s important to check and confirm exactly what types of services their home health nurses can provide, if they are Medicare-certified, and meet the federal requirements for patient management and care. State laws dictate what types of services they can provide to the patient.

Referrals from your physician or health clinic, hospital discharge planner or social worker, friends or family may be most helpful when looking for a home-health nurse. Keep in mind to confirm qualifications as well as bedside manner. This may be one of the most important working relationships you will have and you will want both skilled, quality medical care and a caring personality in your home health nurse.

African american occupational therapist explaining a patient how to use the static bicycle

Depending on the type of medical plan you have (Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance) the expense of a home health nurses can be covered to some degree. There are precise criteria that must be met for eligibility for Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance companies also have their own coverage guidelines. You need to confirm with your home healthcare provider if they are Medicare-certified (approved to provide services to patients with Medicare). If you have Medicaid, they will also be able to tell you what conditions are required for eligibility. Checking with your personal insurance provider is recommended so you can confirm what types of coverage they have for home health nurse care.

If your medical condition is the most important concern and possible obstacle in staying in your home as you age, a home health nurse may be able to help. In addition to skilled professional medical care, home health nurses can help stabilize your health conditions by providing medical monitoring, therapy, caring companionship and basic life activity support. It’s possible to offset the costs associated with having a home health nurse depending on the medical coverage you have and whether the medical homecare provider is certified.

Again, it’s important to confirm the full range of skilled medical services home-health agencies can provide and if they have qualified, certified nursing staff available for the types of services you require. Other things to consider are the availability of its nursing staff (weekends, hours of service, emergency services) so you have the care you need when you need it. With all of the efforts involved in getting home health care, it is worth it when you think how it will benefit your well-being and health as well as staying in the home you know and love as long as you can.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK2631/
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/options-want-stay-home-age
https://www.government.nl/topics/care-and-support-at-home/living-independently-for-longer
https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2013/09/13/how-can-we-keep-seniors-in-their-homes-as-long-as-possible/