6 Myths About Home Health Care
People are more comfortable when at home. At home, we can be ourselves and be independent. It’s “where the heart is.” That is certainly true for me.
Healthcare consumers are demanding more convenience, more options and more catered solutions for their unique needs. Telemedicine and home health options are gaining popularity as consumers become familiar with interacting with healthcare providers from their kitchens and living rooms. As a mom, a registered nurse and daughter who used home health for both my parents and hospice for my mother – I’m often surprised by reasons people don’t seek out home health care. Most of the time, it comes down to myths that simply are not true.
Here are the most common home health myths I hear from prospective patients and their families:
Myth #1: “Home Health is only for someone who has had surgery.”
Fact: Home health provides care for patients recovering from surgery – that’s true – but we do so much more than that. If you’ve had a new diagnosis, or change in diagnosis, or really just have a lot of questions about managing your disease, home health can provide education on that disease, on the medications you are taking and on your suggested course of treatment. While providing the education, we can also provide a physical assessment and share that information with your doctor. If you qualify for home health care, you can be referred directly by your doctor, without being a patient in a hospital, skilled nursing facility or rehab facility. You can also call us direct.
Myth #2: “Home Health isn’t safe.”
Fact: Any quality home health provider performs thorough background screenings and trainings to ensure your provider is someone you can trust. Home health care clinicians are trained to quickly establish rapport so they will not feel like a stranger in your home. Just like hospitals, doctor’s offices and other healthcare providers – home health care professionals wear appropriate PPE and are trained on infection control protocols.
Myth # 3: “I don’t need Home Health Care because I already have Home Care.”
Fact: “Home” care and “home health” care are not the same thing, are not substitutes for one another, and oftentimes you need both. While home care provides services such as personal care, light housekeeping and meal preparation or running errands for you, home health care provides licensed clinician services to help you with recovery and disease management. Highly-skilled clinicians employed by home health include registered nurses, speech, occupational and physical therapists, and medical social workers. Home health care is reimbursed 100% by Medicare and most private insurance companies.
Myth #4: “Home Health is expensive and ineffective. I can’t afford it.”
Fact: Home health is one of the least expensive forms of healthcare, and if utilized timely, can prevent patients from going to the hospital. Medicare.gov reminds us that “Home health care is usually less expensive, more convenient, and just as effective as care you get in a hospital or skilled nursing facility.”
Myth #5: “I have to be bed-bound to receive home health care.”
Fact: You can receive home health services if you are homebound. ‘Homebound’ means it takes effort for you to leave your home and once you do leave your home, you tire easily or it takes time for you to recover. This is often mistakenly confused with bed-bound, which means that you unable to get out of bed.
Myth #6: “Home Health clinicians only check my vital signs.”
Fact: Checking vital signs is part of an overall assessment performed by your home health clinician, but only one small piece of what they can do. Due to their skills in patient assessment, they are assessing your status while they are talking to you and checking your vital signs. Most of the time, you won’t even notice this.
Clinicians see you one-on-one in your home and are not rushed to complete the visit, something you may have experienced in a physician’s office or a hospital. Your care is catered personally to you.
Find out more
Home health care is a critical part of care for many individuals – spanning ages and conditions. Think home health might be right for you or your loved one? Call Stonerise at 304-348-2680 to find out more. To learn more about the home health care we provide, click here.
About the author
Amy Daniel, RN, is CEO of Home Health Care & Hospice for Stonerise Healthcare. https://www.linkedin.com/in/amy-daniel-70b18a144/