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Health Care Options For Seniors

Aug 5, 2008
Many seniors enjoy living in their own home with the freedom to do as they please. While some health problems may limit a senior's ability to do so, with the right home health care, a senior can enjoy an independent life in the presence of illness or other health conditions. When a senior receives adequate health care, it can keep the senior out of a convalescent or nursing home.

For many seniors, just knowing that they will be allowed to recover at home will put them in better spirits, which is more conducive to faster healing. The goal of home health care is to provide the senior with any necessary treatment as the senior heals from an illness or injury in the home setting. Home health care concerns medical treatments and services would otherwise be done in a hospital or other health care setting. Home health care can include services such as nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, counseling, social services and speech therapy.

A doctor will prescribe home health care when the doctor feels that a patient may recover successfully at home. The doctor may order of services of a nurse, homemaker, physical therapist and a personal care worker as part of the home health care plan. Each of these personnel members would perform different tasks as the senior recovers.

The nurse would administer medications, give the patient dietary tips and would arrange any other treatments or services that are necessary. The homemaker would do the household chores, shopping and preparation of meals. The physical therapist would perform such services that would help the patient get their strength back. The personal care worker would help the patient move around their home, including such tasks as dressing, bathing and walking with the patient. The people who provide home health care services are usually licensed nurses, homemakers, therapists and personal care workers.

Many products can be purchased for the purpose of home health care. Not all the products are related to the patient's body and instead are used to make the home safer for the patient. Such home health care product and services involves the modification of the outdoor steps, seating, inside walls, bath and shower. A walkway may be built or railings may be placed inside the home. Mobility equipment such as a cane or wheelchair may be required. Any necessary medical equipment may be rented before making a purchase as well.

Home health care services may be performed by a public, private or other organization that is devoted to these services. Home health care workers are checked by most states for criminal backgrounds. Not all states perform a background check. If a state does not perform these checks, it is up to the person hiring the services of a health care worker to make sure that their criminal record is clear.

Home health care is not the same service as home care for seniors. Generally, home care revolves around house cleaning and other chores at the house. Home health care involves medical treatments or those services that are required to help the patient recover.

Home health care allows a senior's life to go on despite any injury or medical condition. A health problem does not automatically mean that a person has to be cooped up in a health care facility or nursing home. Patients that receive home health care are grateful for the opportunity to avoid the hospital or nursing home.
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