HOME HEALTH– is ordered by a physician, usually at the time of discharge following a hospital admission or an acute illness. Home health care provides short term medical assistance and is prescribed to monitor a health problem or as follow up care. It usually involves a Nurse, Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist or Speech Therapies. The services provided can include things as wound care, injections, medication management and other medically-focused services. These services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, VA and most private insurances. If a patient lives alone, it is not uncommon for the individual to also utilize Home Care services at the same time.
HOSPICE– focuses on care, comfort and support for individuals and their families when facing a life-threatening illness. This type of care is also ordered by a physician. Hospice can be provided as long as the physician certifies that the medical condition remains life-limiting. Hospice is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, VA and most insurance at 100% in most cases. Additionally, the benefit covers many cost related to the life limiting diagnosis such as medical supplies, durable medical equipment and incontinent supplies. Emotional support and education on the disease progression is provided to both the individual and their family.
I have found that there is a high number of elders that need help, on a fixed-income, have health issues or their overall health continues to decline but they do not yet qualify for hospice services. Many seniors want to stay at home and maintain independence for as long as possible. Thankfully, there are non-profit agencies, volunteer groups at work in Mountain Home, as well respite and day-care facilities. Physicians and the Senior Center are superior resources to find the information families need to care for these needs. The only solution is to arm our community with education and resources to assist in planning for crisis before crisis hits.