With the numerous health care services available, you must choose the correct type for your loved one according to their required care and support needs. Each person is unique, and so is the type of assistance they need. The elderly who need home health assistance can achieve a higher quality of life with professional care. In addition, they recover from injuries, disabilities, and medical conditions much better with the help of home health care agencies that can treat them from the comfort of their homes.
Many health care services fall under the home health care umbrella, including skilled nursing assistance, physical therapy, social services, speech therapy, and even companionship. This article covers the most common types of aids and services in Southern California.
Skilled Nursing Assistance
Especially for those diagnosed with a medical ailment or illness, skilled nursing care may be necessary to ensure safety and protection. A doctor will prescribe home skilled nursing aid for seniors who need specialized attention. Skilled nurses can provide wound management, IV therapy, pain management, ostomy assistance, and other types of health care services that regular caregivers do not have experience with.
Seniors with certain medical conditions or those healing from injuries or disabilities benefit significantly from a nurse’s assistance at home. While some facilities offer temporary skilled nursing care services, most seniors prefer being in the comfort of their homes instead of a facility as it helps speed up their healing and provides them with a higher level of focused care. Additionally, in-home skilled nursing care also offers increased comfort thanks to being in a familiar environment.
These are a few tasks a skilled nurse can provide during home care visits:
Management of vital signs
Monitoring of a TBI (traumatic brain injury)
Monitoring of SCI (spinal cord injury)
Management of MS (multiple sclerosis)
Management of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
Feeding tube care
There are many other tasks a licensed skilled nurse can perform that other senior aids do not have training for. In addition, these professionals have extensive knowledge and the experience necessary to perform these vital tasks correctly. Having professional, reliable treatment at home gives patients complete convenience and comfort compared to visiting clinics in their communities.
Whether healing from an injury or dealing with permanent limitations, physical therapy helps to improve a person’s quality of life. Home physical therapy is a great option to help patients increase mobility and strength at ease.
Due to their advanced age, It could be draining, time-consuming, and stressful for seniors to be transported to a physical therapist multiple times per week. Being able to complete physical rehabilitation at home creates a much easier lifestyle for seniors who are overcoming injuries and diseases.
As seniors age, maintaining an adequate activity level significantly impacts their quality of life. It is crucial to understand that no matter the person’s age, they must preserve their physical abilities. Without physical therapy, elderly patients can decline quickly and are more susceptible to physical and emotional setbacks.
Since physical therapy cannot be performed by an unskilled professional, proper physical rehabilitation requires the guidance of home aid PTs (Physical Therapists) and PTAs (Physical Therapy Assistants).
These licensed home aid professionals work one-on-one with the individual in their own environment with appropriate apparatus and equipment. In-home physical therapy also provides a personalized focus on mobility issues specific to the patient’s surroundings, allowing the PTs to assess each patient’s needs accurately. In addition, PTs and PTAs can adjust their treatment plans and help seniors track physical goals as therapy progresses.
It takes a licensed therapist with highly specialized training to help an individual physically rehabilitate properly. These clinical professionals know how the body functions and the precautions one must take during rehabilitation.
With consistent, regular sessions, seniors regain their physical confidence and return to their normal lives and activities safely. As advised by a doctor, physical therapists organize a customized rehabilitation plan that incorporates a variety of equipment and techniques.
Some physical therapy activities include:
Stretching and posture
Strengthening and endurance exercises
Education for seniors and caregivers
Fall reduction protocols
According to the NCOA (National Council on Aging), physical therapy is a valuable aspect of elderly care. It supports seniors’ vitality and independence, reduces the risk of injuries, and is essential in dealing with the everyday challenges of aging.
Injuries or serious illnesses may debilitate a person’s ability to care for themselves. When conditions leave a person unable to perform activities of daily living, occupation therapy helps them return to their everyday lives. With an occupational therapist’s help, seniors can overcome limitations and return to their usual daily activities.
Occupational therapists help seniors perform exercises and strategies that help them perform daily tasks with little to no assistance. It is crucial for seniors to be in the familiar surroundings of their homes, where they need to relearn how to perform daily tasks.
Licensed OT (occupational therapy) professionals assist the elderly in regaining the function of dexterity, motor skills, mobility, range of motion, strength, and other vital skills. They help seniors gradually improve their skills until they can carry out their daily tasks with safety as a priority.
Unlike physical therapy, occupational therapy focuses on helping a person increase their skills to perform daily activities. In contrast, physical therapy mainly deals with patients’ ability to move their bodies.
These are some of the ways occupational therapy can benefit an elderly patient:
Decreases risk of falls
Helps patient improve self-care
Manages vision loss and other sensory limitations that come with aging
Achieves modifications to the home to make it safer
Helps improve memory
Relieves stress from caregivers and encourages safe practices
Improves chronic pain
Makes life transitions more manageable
Improves the patient’s mental outlook
Helps alleviate strain on aging joints
Home aid agencies understand the importance of providing occupational therapy at the patient’s home, which is why it is a standard service.
As social beings, the capability to communicate effectively is crucial to a person’s quality of life. As a person ages, the vocal cords lose elasticity, and the larynx muscles weaken, leading to difficulty speaking. Home speech therapy helps improve the life of seniors dealing with speech impediments, which may include communication, cognitive, language, and swallowing disorders.
The great news is that speech therapy helps elderly patients adapt to these changes. Licensed speech therapists help seniors train their vocal abilities to communicate clearly and confidently. With the help of a licensed speech therapist, seniors can improve their ability to communicate, their memory, orientation, and swallowing abilities.
Speech therapy is essential in regaining a normal life and helps patients maintain good mental status. Besides normal aging, there are countless reasons why a patient may need speech therapy. The cause of speech problems could stem from a temporary or chronic condition. For example, stroke patients often become vocally impaired.
However, even without any medical conditions, speech therapy for the elderly is highly beneficial. These are some of the benefits of speech therapy for the aging population:
Improves speech patterns that were damaged by a brain injury
Improves the ability to understand after a brain injury
Enhances speech that was compromised by muscle dysfunction
Improves the ability to swallow saliva, eat, and drink
Prevents pneumonia by avoiding aspiration into the lungs
Prevents weight loss due to dysphagia
As each patient is unique, speech therapy plans are customized according to their abilities, needs, and end goals. At-home speech therapy enables the highest level of comfort and everyday function for each individual and allows a more focused approach compared to facilities.
Like the rest of the population, seniors also require emotional support. In fact, the NIH (National Institutes of Health) reports that older patients who receive emotional support are more likely to experience overall good health. Having the right company and social support also prevents depression after injuries. Many government and medical organizations recognize the importance of social services in promoting overall health and well-being.
The World Health Organization (WHO) emphasizes the role of social determinants in health outcomes and encourages governments to provide access to essential social services. Additionally, various health insurance plans often cover a range of social services, such as mental health counseling as a way to support the comprehensive health of their beneficiaries.
Home health social workers understand the importance of providing one-on-one support and education for elderly patients. They treat patients as members of their extended families rather than just case numbers.
Every individual has unique goals, routines, and needs that require the assistance of a social worker. Whether it is counseling, mental health conditions, emotional challenges, or developing healthy coping skills, social workers play a vital role in a person’s quality of life, especially seniors.
A patient’s emotional and social life is as important as their physical state. Home health agencies offer social services such as counseling or companionship and assistance with everyday life activities. Patients with an injury or illness face social and emotional challenges they must overcome to get back into living a well-balanced life surrounded by good company.
Medical social professionals also assist patients in finding resources and tools within their communities and navigating insurance coverage. Patients facing complex conditions are assigned a case manager who can incorporate various health care services. With young adults’ life and work responsibilities limiting their time with their senior loved ones, the support provided by home aid social services extends to the patient’s family.
Medical Equipment and Supplies
Most home health agencies may not provide equipment and supplies, but they can connect patients with reliable suppliers. Having the right equipment and supplies is critical in recovery and managing disabilities. Patients with illnesses may use vital equipment such as walkers, wheelchairs, oxygen tanks, and ostomy supplies.
Home health agencies help coordinate a patient’s care utilizing a holistic approach that examines all aspects of life. Those who receive this type of home health assistance can heal quicker from their conditions, increase their quality of life, and minimize the possibility of accidents.
These are common categories of equipment and supplies needed by senior citizens:
Glucometers, pulse oximeters, blood pressure monitors, weighing scales, thermal scanners.
Cold packs, electric heating pads, compression clothing.
Arthritis aides, infusion pumps, para monitors, dialysis machines, suction equipment, IV stands, catheters.
Respiratory Range Equipment:
Ventilators, ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machines, oxygen concentrators, nebulizers, tracheostomy tubes, BiPAP (bi-level positive airway) machines.
Handheld balls, free weights, floor pedals, resistance bands.
As you can see, the type of equipment a senior may use to lead a content and active lifestyle is extensive. These items are vital in the ongoing maintenance of good health for various medical conditions as well as for seniors who are in good shape. Home health agencies not only know which providers are available in the patient’s locations, but they are also connected to the most trusted sources in the industry.
Types Of Health Care Services
Home health care agencies offer various health care services focused on improving a patient’s life and maintaining good health. Seniors who receive home health care are more likely to improve their conditions and quality of life.
Whether your senior loved one needs skilled nursing care, physical therapy, social services, specialized equipment, or other types of health care services, there are various home health agencies for every senior care need.
Certainly, the elderly and their families benefit greatly from seeking the assistance of a healthcare agency. The various types of health care services can make a massive difference in a patient’s daily life.
Home Care Providers has been a trusted, licensed in-home senior care agency for over 30 years. We offer a wide range of services with varying levels of assistance, from regular house calls, routine home care, and skilled nursing care to dementia care. Contact us to schedule your FREE consultation today!