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Home Health Care: What to Expect

Home Health Aide with patient


When seniors begin to have trouble when it comes to caring for themselves, they often find themselves in need of some form of home health care. Home health care defined is as follows:  Specifically, home health care refers to medical and other care services provided in-house, allowing patients to remain in the comfort and convenience of their own homes while still receiving the care they need. The people who care for them are typically a combination of home health aids and home care nurses, both of which provide different levels of care and assistance to their patients but have the same overall goal: to provide the highest level of care possible.

Who is Home Health Care For?

Technically, anybody can request home health care. However, the elderly population is the most likely to receive this type of care. Often times, as seniors reach a certain age, they find that they have trouble caring for themselves and getting things done around the house. At the same time, they aren’t comfortable with the idea of having to move into a nursing home or other care facility; they want to remain the comfort and familiarity of their own homes. This is where having home health care can be so helpful; seniors are able to receive the care they need from home health nurses along with basic assistance with things like housekeeping, bathing, and grooming from home health aides.

In many cases, a state-funded Medicare program will take care of these kinds of costs for the patients as well. However, long-term care insurance and personal health insurance plans may also pick up the bill. In some cases, for those who don’t have insurance, there are assistance programs available to make this type of care more affordable. After all, home health care cost can vary greatly from one patient to the next depending on their specific needs and even where they live.

So while seniors are the most common people to use home health care service, just about anybody who needs medical assistance around the house can may receive this service. For example, somebody who has been temporarily immobilized due to an accident or injury may very well benefit from such a service.

What Does Home Health Care Provide?

There is a wide range of services that home care can provide to a patient depending on their unique needs. The types of services provided can also vary greatly depending on whether the patient is seeing a home health nurse or a home health aide, as there is a difference between the two in terms of what they can and cannot do to help a patient.

Generally, home health aides will function as basic caregivers of sorts. They will help with basic housekeeping, such as making sure the trash is taken out and assisting with laundry. For patients who need it, they can also help with self-care tasks such as bathing and grooming. However, they can’t do much in the way of providing medical care. They do keep an eye on how the patient seems to be doing both mentally and physically, and will provide information to a home health nurse in the event that the patient seems to need a higher level of medical care in-house.

On the other hand, a home health nurse can become a little more involved when it comes to treating patients. For example, these certified nurses are able to administer medication to patients who need assistance with that, although they are not able to prescribe them. They also typically report directly to the patient’s personal physician, so any potential changes in his or her medical situation can be recorded and handled appropriately.

Why Work in Home Health Care?

There are so many reasons to consider working in this field, regardless of whether you think you’d be a better match for a job as a home health aide or even a home health nurse. The main difference between the two is how much schooling and training you’re willing to go through. In order to work as a registered health care nurse, you will need to complete anywhere from two to four years of schooling for your Associate’s and/or Bachelor’s degree. However, it’s also worth noting that the average salary for a registered health care nurse is a bit higher than that of a home health aide, though the latter doesn’t require you to obtain any formal education in order to land a job in the field.  Another option is to pursue a career as a CNA or certified nursing assistant.  To find out more about this profession, nursing careers and other Home Health Care Jobs that include working as a home care assistant or personal aides, please visit the Nursing Degree Guide.  Either way, if you enjoy helping others and taking on a care giving role, then working as a home health aide or nurse can be a very rewarding experience and a career you will be happy with for many years to come.

What are the Benefits of Home Health Care Agencies?

Home health care agencies also provide career opportunities for those with a desire to work in the home health care field.  Working for a Home health care agency offers advantages for both the home health care professional, as well as the patient in need of services.   You may be tempted to place an ad in a local newspaper that advertises private in home caregiver needed.

Be aware should an aid become injured while working privately in your home in Private Home Health Aide Jobs, you (the client) may be liable.  In most cases, if you choose to obtain services thru an agency, they provide workmen’s compensation in the event an injury occurs.  They also perform other administrative duties that include withholding of payroll taxes, the screening of job candidates, verification of credentials, and may bond and insure the job candidates.  The best way to ensure what the agency offers is to ask them if they provide the aforementioned benefits  and what other benefits they provide to their clients.

Now that you know a bit more about home health care cost, what goes into working in this field, and what types of care that can be provided, you can make a better informed decision as to whether or not this is the right path for you.



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