At Hebrew SeniorLife Home Care, when seniors are referred for visiting nurse services, they receive a registered nurse case manager to oversee and coordinate all their care.
Why is this important? The case manager develops a comprehensive plan, which might include transitions to other areas of service, during home care and afterwards. A patient might need physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and home health aide services – and the nurse case manager helps coordinate all that.
For patients returning home from a hospital stay, the last thing they or their families want is a return visit to the hospital or the emergency room.
At Hebrew SeniorLife Home Care, our goal is to keep seniors from returning to the hospital by providing the in-home medical treatment, therapy, and help with the essential activities they need to recover. Whether an individual is diagnosed with a new illness, recovering from surgery, or chronically or terminally ill, home health care services can be invaluable.
Dorothy said it best, “there’s no place like home.” With age, often needs for care change, which means assessing living options. Yet we can all agree that the comforts of home are always beckoning.
For that reason, many seniors make “aging in place” a high priority even as they feel their functional abilities – and sometimes their health – have begun to fade. Thankfully, with the help of home care services and home health care services, many people are able to maintain their independence in their own homes for quite some time.
Given the choice, older adults prefer to remain in their own homes as they age. However, changes in health and functional status can often put a senior at risk. A home safety evaluation is a good place to start to help ensure that the home environment is comfortable, secure and safe where seniors can age in place safely. I spoke with Heather Margulis, Associate Director, Rehabilitation Services for Hebrew SeniorLife, to learn more about in-home safety and what to expect from a home safety evaluation.
Hebrew SeniorLife has launched a palliative care program available through Hebrew SeniorLife Home Care. A question often asked is “What is palliative care?” and “How is it different from hospice care?”
Palliative care is delivered by a multi-disciplinary team and treats the “whole” patient by providing medical, psychological and spiritual care for people with chronic and/or serious disease. Its focus is on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness, and offering guidance for the patient and family.
For patients who want to be home but need ongoing care that can't be managed by friends or family, home health care services can be invaluable. Patients with dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, particularly benefit from receiving care in a familiar environment.
Flexibility, creativity, and consistency all come into play when providing home care services to this population: It's about promoting maximum independence while maintaining safety.
Generally, Medicare and managed care insurance will cover home care if there is a skilled need for services and the patient is homebound. Services typically include:
Identifying and effectively treating older patients who suffer from depression continues to be a challenge. Primary care providers (PCPs) tend to screen for and treat depression, and although well-intentioned, treatment in a primary care setting does not always yield the best outcome for older patients.
PCPs actually now screen patients for depression more often than they used to, however increased screening has not always led to better treatment. Depression in older adults can present differently than in younger patients, and PCPs who aren’t aware of that may underestimate the severity of depression in their older patients.