If you or a loved one receives care at a facility, at some point, you may want to get care at home instead. Patients turn to home health care for many reasons. Maybe they need help with specific therapy services or hands-on nursing skills, such as wound care. Or perhaps they feel socially isolated in a nursing home setting. No matter the reason, understanding what’s involved in the transition from facility care to home health care is important—and can make the entire process easier.
The benefits of receiving care at home
Home health care isn’t for everyone, but it can offer many benefits.
“The biggest benefit of being at home is that it’s your own environment,” says Brandi Pervel, BSN, RN, Traditions Health vice president of home health clinical performance and operations. “Home health is a resource that can continue medical services outside a facility. It allows you to control the environment itself and to have more input in your plan of care.”
For example, at a facility, patients follow the facility’s timeline. If blood testing labs are at 4 a.m., you must wake up at 4 a.m. But at home, you schedule your labs with your home health nurse, so they fit with your schedule.
You also have more flexibility when it comes to caregivers and visitors. If you want your daughter to be with you when your clinician visits, for example, you can schedule the appointment when she’s available. And you don’t always have that option at a facility.
Tips for a smooth transition to home health care
When you decide to use home health care, the initial return home may be a little scary. Thankfully, with an agency like Traditions Health, you have a support system that’s always available.
Here are some ways to make transitioning from facility care to home health care as easy as possible.
Start by talking with your case manager
At most facilities, you should already be assigned to a case manager. Your first step is to ask them about home health care.
- If you’re ready to move forward, they’ll request an order from your physician, who must order home health care services for you.
- If you’re not sure about home health care, they’ll connect you with a representative who will provide more education.
Once your physician orders home health care, we’ll reach out to you to schedule a visit. From the time you’re in the facility, all the way until you’re admitted to home health care—and throughout your plan of care—you’ll have someone to guide you every step of the way.
Allow the home health care clinician to visit your home as soon as possible
When you’re back home, it’s important to schedule the first visit with your home healthcare clinician (case manager) right away. Many people want to delay this visit—pushing it out days or weeks. However, it’s critical that your clinician identify and address your needs in a timely manner.
“The number one barrier we encounter as clinicians is when we try to set up that initial visit, we may get pushback,” explains Brandi. “Patients say, ‘Hey, can you come tomorrow, or wait until Monday?’ But really, getting timely care started is the best thing that can happen.”
That’s because those first few days when you’re back at home are crucial. You’re at the highest risk of having to return to a facility, which you want to prevent.
Make sure you allow the home health care clinician to come into your home, so they can answer your questions and get you started with your home health care. During this visit, you’ll build out a plan of care, which includes a schedule that works for you.
Stay in contact with your home health case manager
You’ll be assigned to a case manager, who is your primary home health care clinician. They oversee your plan of care and serve as an intermediary between you and your physician. Your case manager will visit you regularly.
It’s important to contact your case manager when you have questions, concerns, or changes to your health. At Traditions Health, all home health care patients have a phone number they can call 24/7.
Communicate your needs
Home health care is all about you. So, you have the right to communicate what you want and expect.
“Sometimes patients are hesitant to allow someone to come into their home—their safe space, their environment,” says Brandi, “But if they can communicate what it is about a particular clinician or service that they may not want, then we can make adjustments.”
For example, a 90-year-old patient lives alone but has a daughter visit her every day at 2 p.m. She feels more comfortable with her daughter being present to hear what the nurse is saying. It makes her nervous to be alone during the visit because she thinks she may miss an important detail. It’s important that she contacts her home health agency to let them know how she’s feeling so that they can coordinate her visits around the time when her daughter is present to put her at ease.
The transition to home health is much easier when you communicate what you need. At Traditions Health, we’re more than happy to listen.
Think you or a loved one could benefit from home health care?
If you’re interested in learning more, please reach out. Our skilled and compassionate team is ready to help you with a seamless transition, so you can heal where you’re happiest.
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