With advances in monitoring and telemedicine, the care received at home can approach that delivered in a hospital or facility setting. Numerous studies show that most patients prefer to be treated at home, specifically while recovering from surgery.
“Home health care,” a term that refers to skilled nursing, therapy, and companion or personal care related services is currently a prominent home care model in this country. Developed around the start of the 20th century home care services were intended to address the unmet health and social needs of vulnerable populations. Today, there are more than 10,000 home health care agencies across the country that care for millions of homebound patients each year.
Are you recovering from surgery? Home health care can help.
There are a lot of things to think about when preparing for major surgery. What are the risks? Will you be in pain? Have you thought about what help you’ll need to recover? Will you be able to stay at home while you heal? Although every surgical recovery is different, the goals of home-based clinical care post-surgery include patient and family involvement, shared decision-making, and ﬂexibility around changes in plans to meet your needs.
Having home care services can help you recover more quickly, keep you safe at home, and just as importantly, help you avoid another hospital stay.
Planning ahead for care.
Although it’s not always possible to schedule your surgery in advance, you should understand beforehand how long your recovery may take, what you will and will not be able to do, and what help you will need while you are home.
Speaking to your doctor or your hospital discharge planner about home health care services prior to surgery will help you prepare for when you go home again. If your surgery is the result of an emergency situation, a family member or other caregiver could arrange for services on your behalf.
Additionally, since outpatient (day) surgery has become a much more common option, many people find themselves recovering from surgery at home the same day as their procedure. Some are unprepared to effectively manage their pain and discomfort, making it difficult for them to perform even routine tasks or basic personal care. They may be weak and tired. Managing multiple medications can be confusing and properly caring for the incision site can be challenging. That’s where home health care can help.
How home health care helps your recovery
Home health care is personalized to fit your needs, based on your physician’s instructions and your own personal preferences. Post-operative home health care services can be arranged for as little as a few hours up to 24 hours a day.
Depending on the complexity of the surgery, you may receive a single type of care or a combination of services. Nurses can provide services including wound care and medication management, while home health aides can provide assistance with personal care including bathing and dressing, housekeeping, and transportation. Physical and occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, and social workers also play an important role in the recovery process.
Here are some of the services that home health care provides:
- Changing dressings and draining fluids
- Observing post-operative progress
- Administering medications
- Communicating your progress to your physician
Assistive care, also known as personal care
- Assisting with range-of-motion exercises
- Reminding you when to take medications
- Preparing meals
- Light housekeeping
- Completing errands
- Bathing, dressing, and grooming
- Communicating your progress to your clinical manager
- Providing respite for family members
- Transporting and accompanying you to and from medical appoints and personal errands
Depending on your insurance, some or all of your home health care services may be covered. Be sure to check with your health insurance provider before arranging services.
If you are preparing for surgery, contact us today for home health care services.