Effectively managing diabetes is key to preventing nerve damage, eye problems, foot problems, kidney failure, heart failure, high blood pressure, stroke and others and maintaining a healthier lifestyle overall.
Home health care professionals help educate patients to take control of their health by taking medication as ordered, appropriate dieting, exercising and self-monitoring of high or low blood sugar.
Amedisys home health care centers also offer an evidence-based diabetes empowerment program that helps patients manage symptoms at home, address other illnesses like heart failure and high blood pressure, teach how to recognize signs of potential complications and healthy habits like wellness and exercise habits.
Your diabetes patients may benefit from home health care, and the Amedisys empowerment program specifically, if they experience any of the following scenarios and meet all other general eligibility criteria for home health care.
New Diagnosis of Diabetes
Education and empowerment are central pillars of home health care, allowing patients to become more independent and to manage their conditions at home either themselves or with caregiver assistance.
Getting started on the right path early on in a diabetes diagnosis can go a long way in heading off more serious complications.
Difficulty Managing Medications or Drawing Labs
Drug therapy is critical to diabetes management. Home health teams can help patients strike the appropriate balance between the need for medications and other lifestyle changes like weight loss, increased activity and diet changes.
Home health nurses will help patients understand the medication they’ve been prescribed and ensure they’re taking the correct dosage. Clinicians assess patients during the very first home health visit on how well equipped they are to self-administer medication and whether they will need to rely on clinicians or caregivers regularly.
Inability to Assess and Manage Glycemic Control
Glycemic control is a delicate balancing act. Home health teams work in tandem with patients’ physicians to both assess each patient’s glucose goals, including the patient’s and caregiver’s ability to check blood glucose levels, and develop a plan of care to manage it.
Increased Fall Risk Due to Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy is one complication of the disease and can cause pain and numbness in patients’ feet. Home health teams can help improve patients’ safety by educating about potential fall risks from their homes.
The home health team addresses musculoskeletal issues, visual disturbances, functional and cognitive impairments, chronic conditions, medications and home safety to help prevent falls and any complications that may result from them.
Increased Risk for Hospitalizations from Comorbid Conditions
Home health care can significantly reduce the risks for unnecessary hospitalizations. By developing plans of care unique to each patient, clinicians can empower patients to manage their specific diagnoses more effectively and comprehensively at home.
Additionally, having direct eyes on the patient either through clinicians or home health aides helps the team spot any change in status or any new symptoms more quickly, initiating interventions if necessary.
Need for Wound Care for Diabetic Foot Ulcer
Wound care is a key element of home health. Our clinicians are trained in wound care product use, care and detection of infection symptoms. They provide education, teaching and training on how to prevent complications, the role blood sugar plays in wound healing and when to reach out for help.
Amedisys also has a team of specially trained wound nurses who can assist our physicians and clinicians with recommendations for management of diabetic foot ulcers to reach the best outcomes for our patients. Wound care at home can result in faster healing times, better outcomes, lower infection rates, decreased pain, better mobility and fewer unnecessary hospital visits.
Physical therapists will assess the patient’s strength and functional mobility and will provide education and training to ensure off-loading of the diabetic foot ulcer to promote healing and to prevent complications.
Difficulty Managing a Healthy Weight
Losing weight is often the primary goal in the early stages of type 2 diabetes. Home health teams leverage nutrition therapy to promote healthful eating patterns, achieve and maintain the desired weight, delay or prevent complications and provide practical meal planning tools.
Need for Increased Exercise
Physical and occupational therapists will help patients increase their physical activity, starting with as little as 10 minutes per day to as much as 45 minutes per day on most days. Clinicians help them navigate any specific challenges or barriers to exercise and consistently remind them to check glucose levels before beginning any exerting activity.
Consistently Calling Your Office with Questions
A major benefit of home health care is the education clinicians provide patients to manage their diagnoses and symptoms at home. With the addition of home health care, you can expect fewer calls to your office and a greater peace of mind that your patients are in good hands.
If any of your patients exhibit these signs, call an Amedisys location near you to see if our teams can help your patients live more independently at home.