Home care is a wonderful way for a person to receive healthcare from the comfort of their own home. Many people have the perception that home care is only for the elderly, but there are actually different programs and services for people of all ages. From new moms who need some help with their newborns, to someone recovering at home from a surgery, to a senior with mobility issues, here are three different options for home care and how they may benefit you or your family:
A Medicare-certified home healthcare program, such as South Shore VNA, is a specialized program that treats patients who have been homebound under a doctor’s orders. This is usually a temporary home care solution where skilled nurses help patients recover from some type of surgery or acute care episode.
The VNA, or Visiting Nurse Association, program we have at South Shore Health is unique because we have specialty care teams with nurses who are certified in very specific things such as advanced wound care, cardiac care, diabetic care, palliative care, and sick children care. Not every VNA program has specialties available where the patient’s diagnosis, whatever it may be, can be matched to an appropriate team of nurses, clinicians, physicians, or therapists.
Private-Pay Home Care
This is an option for people who don’t qualify for VNA and want to pay privately for medical or personal care. Generally, patients are 70+ years old with services brought in by their family members who want them to be safer at home.
Since these patients aren’t as sick and don’t require specialized care, a lot of services are non-medical, like assistance with housekeeping, errands, grocery shopping, and laundry. There are also skilled nurses who can help with medication management, and child care aides for new parents who are looking for a little help. The nice thing about private-pay home care is that the level of care is flexible so you can add or subtract services as needed. Many families will even hire a caregiver to stay with an elder during a social event, like a wedding, so they don’t have to worry about needs being met among the commotion of other things.
One benefit of Home and Health Resources, the private home care option at South Shore Health, is that the home health aides will work with the caregivers in our other home care programs. For example, if a patient no longer requires VNA care, but still wants someone around to help with certain things, the private-pay caregiver will easily be able to work with the VNA care team to ensure a smooth transition.
Hospice care, or end-of-life care, is for patients who have been diagnosed with six months or less to live. They don’t have to necessarily be homebound, but there has been the determination that there will be a sharp decline in health. Depending on the patient’s needs, a team of caregivers will focus on pain management and limit medications to only what’s necessary to make them feel comfortable.
At Hospice of the South Shore, we strive to help patients feel as physically and mentally well as they can. So on top of pain management, it’s incredibly important that we treat patients with respect and help them maintain their dignity. We also have pet therapy dogs that visit patients, and bereavement coordinators to help the patient and their family understand and prepare for death.
Find Your Care Team
If you’re seeking care but don’t want to be in a hospital setting, you don’t have to go without help. There are wonderful options out there for care within your home. Whatever it is that you or your loved one may need, there’s a team of caregivers a phone call away who will be there to help.