Home health care has become a viable option not only for elderly people, but also for people of all ages with either temporary or long-term special medical needs. With such care, a patient can remain in the comfort of his/her home and still receive specialized medical treatment or assistance with personal care needs. Oftentimes this will be more acceptable to the patient when given the option of staying in their own home versus moving into a nursing home or hospital.
Home health care can consist of having a private-duty nurse come to the patient's home for extended care or help with a ventilator, IV's, gastrostomy tubes and other chronic medical needs. It can also involve the training of household members to give such treatments under supervision. Home personal care can be provided to help with meals or personal grooming as well as assistance with household chores such as cleaning or laundry.
Ask your personal physician or local hospital for recommendations when it comes to choosing a home care agency. Don't be afraid to question the agency about the training and supervision of their staff. Ask how problems are addressed and resolved and if there is someone on call 24 hours per day.
Choosing a home health care agency should not be taken lightly, but if you can find an appropriate fit for you loved one, a home health care agency usually costs only 1/5 of the cost of moving the patient to an outside facility. It has proven to be a cost-effective alternative to health care and usually results in a happier patient.