Home health care is available in the patient’s home. This can include their private residence or an assisted living or senior living facility.
Most of the time, home health care is provided in a patient’s private home. Patients receive regular visits from a team of people with different specialties. For example:
- A nurse works with your doctor to create your plan of care. The nurse may also provide wound care, help with medications, and check your pain and health.
- You might also work with a physical therapist, speech therapist or occupational therapist. These specialists can help you regain strength and balance, communicate, and do everyday tasks.
- If you need help with daily activities like bathing and dressing, a home health aide can visit you.
- A medical social worker can provide counseling and emotional support. They can also help you find community resources to support your recovery.
A family member, friend or caregiver provides most of your day-to-day care. The home health team educates your caregiver on how to manage your health care needs at home. If an urgent need arises, you can contact the on-call team member 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Assisted Living/Senior Living Facility
Assisting living facilities are considered a patient’s place of residence, or their home. In an assisted living facility, the home health team can visit you regularly. Depending on your needs and doctor’s orders, you may receive skilled nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and social worker services. With the education and monitoring you’ll have, you may be able to avoid unnecessary trips to the hospital.
Residents are sometimes happier when home health care is involved. This is, in part, because the home health agency and assisted living work together to provide the best possible care. If you have an emergency after-hours, home health is there 24 hours a day, including nights and weekends. If you need to go to the hospital or a skilled nursing facility, the home health agency helps make the transition back into assisted living smooth.
Where Home Health Care Is Not Available
Home health care is not typically covered in any type of inpatient facility. This includes a:
- Skilled nursing facility
- Nursing home
- Long-term care facility
- Other institution
Is Home Health Care Right for You?
Home health can help you stay safe and independent at home. Research shows it can also help you avoid preventable trips to the hospital. Home health care is covered by Medicare and most insurance plans for qualified patients. You might benefit from home health services if you’ve had:
- A recent hospitalization or emergency room visit
- Multiple, frequent visits to your doctor
- A recent fall or feel unsteady
- Weight loss or gain in a short time
- Increase in confusion or clouded thinking
- A new medication or change in medication
- Changes in behavior, such as feeling depressed or isolated
- A wound, skin tear or other injury
- Difficulty bathing, dressing or doing other everyday activities
- Difficulty managing your blood pressure or blood sugar
- A new assistive device like a walker or wheelchair or trouble using your device
Call an Amedisys home health agency near you to find out if home health services are covered where you call home.
Reviewed by Donna Massie, RN, Senior Vice President Clinical Operations - Home Health