Elderly and people who are experiencing any type of increased dependency have the option to live safely in their homes. Just thought of residing in a nursing home makes some aging people feel uncomfortable or even scared. However, in-home nursing care can be a great solution here.
Family members usually take on the responsibilities of being caretakers at the same time. Yet, most of them have their jobs, look after their children, or have some other things to maintain during the day. In other words – time limits them from being a full-time caretaker.
In that case, a person in need will have some time of empty walk during the day. An in-home nurse is a person who will stay with a patient a couple of hours a day and monitor his/her medical condition. Guidance and professional service of in-home nursing care will provide any person with the care they require.
What Does It Seem Like to Receive In-Home Nursing Care?
The main idea of the whole concept of in-home nursing care is to provide a person in need as high as the possible quality of life. Three things in-home nursing care focuses on are:
- Enabling safety,
- Enabling security,
- Increasing independence.
This type of services contributes to:
- Avoiding unnecessary hospitalization,
- Managing the ongoing medical condition with the utmost professional care,
- Aiding with recovery after a hospital stay, injury, or an illness (short- or long-term).
Home care services may also include:
- Assistance with daily activities (dressing, bathing, managing household tasks),
- Rehabilitative services,
- Ventilator care.
What Is The Difference Between In-Home Nursing Services?
If you have been considering in-home nursing services lately, it is important to distinguish different types of medical assistance. Patients are aiming to receive medical assistance in the comfort of their homes rather than going to care facility or into a nursing home.
According to different services included, we will divide them into two following, main categories:
- In-home nurse,
- Home care helper.
An in-home nurse is a licensed practical or a registered nurse who provides the best care suitable to everyday living to a patient (aging person or a person with an injury, disabled person, or someone who is recovering after a hospital stay) in the comfort of their home.
Treatments an in-home nurse provides include:
- Giving injections,
- Colostomy care,
- Dressing wounds,
- Monitoring vital signs,
- Performing medical therapies.
We have a home care helper on the other side. This person is a non-medical care provider of elderly, personal, respite, and companion care services. The main difference between a home care nurse and a home care helper is that the second one provides assistance for household chores and home tasks as well.
We can further divide home care helper category to home caregivers and companion homemakers, of which the second usually don’t perform toilet assistance, bathing, grooming, and other personal duties.
A home caregiver provides a couple more services than an in-home nurse:
- Buying groceries,
- Meal preparation,
- Light housekeeping,
- Works on weekends and holidays.
Understanding which types of in-home caregivers exist out there, you can get a clear image of what kind of services you or your loved one requires. In-home nursing care is the best option for elderly or disabled persons who need medical care exclusively. However, if you or your beloved one needs additional care assistance and companionship, you should consider taking home care helper services.
Once You Make a Decision…
If you have brought a decision that you would like to start using in-home nursing services, we would like to talk about a couple more things to take into consideration.
It seems like a skilled in-house nurse is necessary for providing care. If you are the one who would use these services, talk about your family and let them know about your decision. On the other hand, if you are thinking about hiring an in-home nurse for your family member, it would be best to talk about everything right now. You want to let them know the benefits of using such services and explain how exactly in-home nursing care will help them.
An in-home nurse doesn’t provide 24/7 assistance. If the patient’s medical condition is such that it requires full-time assistance, then it would be better to consider caregiving services.
Having an in-home nurse means that you, or your loved one, will have the assistance of licensed, educated, and certified professional. Nurses go through one of three accredited programs and earn their diplomas and degreed. The final step is to get a Home Health Care Nurse certification. This certificate is the evidence they are qualified to work as in-home nurses.
Benefits of In-Home Nursing Care
Most people believe the greatest benefit of in-home using care is the fact they are staying in the comfort of their room and being close to family. However, there are numerous benefits behind this story, and we will enumerate them all in the following paragraphs.
- Health condition monitoring
As we already mentioned, family members can’t be around all the time. In-home nursing care will be at disposal for periods when a person in need stays alone. During this time, a service provider will regularly check on vital signals and reactions to medication. This person watches after the slightest change in a patient’s health condition and reports the main ones (both good and bad) to the family.
- Administering prescribed medications
As in-home nurses are licensed and registered, they have the authority of administering prescribed medications given to a patient. However, a nurse can’t prescribe them. The physician would give approval after consultations with an in-home nurse. Some people have specific medications prescribed, which is difficult to administer independently, especially among aging people.
- Providing basic assistance
An in-home nurse provides additional tasks, such as toilet hygiene assistance (getting to the toilet, then getting up, self-cleaning), moving the patient from one place to another, eating, dressing, and grooming assistance as well. Each in-home nurse is capable of performing fundamental living activities.
With time, you and your in-home nurse will get to know each other better. Time will also make you grow fonder physically and emotionally. A nurse will take care of you and assist when you have difficulties with independence, which will make you gain trust in this person very soon.
On the other hand, just being in the comfort of your home and in a familiar surrounding will make you feel more relaxed and less vigilant. This will influence creating a friendly interaction between you and your nurse.
Finding an In-Home Nurse
There are two channels through which you can get in contact with potential nurses. One way is to get in touch with home health agencies in the neighborhood. The first thing to pay attention to is whether the agency you are working with is Medicare-certified. Besides that, you want to check on what types of services the agency provides exactly.
This has a lot to do with the services we described in the previous paragraphs. In case you are still in doubt what services do you need, go and re-check the type of services an in-home nurse provides and the type of services a caregiver provides.
It would be great to get a reference from someone who already knows more about this topic. For example, your physician may help you a lot with this, or a social worker, health clinic, and hospital discharge planner.
In the end, you want a certified, licensed, and skilled medical care person, but also someone who is pleasant to communicate with.
How to Pay In-Home Care
Using in-home care is not the privilege of the rich, as many people who are struggling to make ends meet find a way to help their beloved ones in need.
In general, costs of in-nurse care depend on where you live (urban/rural areas, west/east) and on whether you are looking for medical care, or homemaker services, or general companionship.
Options you should really consider are:
- Veteran benefits (90 and more days of active duty),
- A reverse mortgage (62 years or older, the user has to be an owner of a house),
- Long-term care insurance (but be careful – as some insurances cover in-home care services, while others accept only nursing home care),
- An annuity (find a reputable financial institution to turn your pension or savings into a steady income),
- Medicaid (covers short-term in-home care),
- A collective sibling agreement (family makes a plan according to which a sibling pays to another one to take care of their parents).
Providing your loved one with the intermittent skilled healthcare service will make their life so much easier in multiple ways. We all prefer staying in our homes when not feeling so well, especially aging people.
An in-home nurse will provide medical monitoring, basic life activity support, and companionship for a person in need. No matter if short-term or long-term assistance is needed, in-home nursing care is the best option for people who can’t devote their whole day to taking care of the patient. After all, you have the choice on this one as well, depending on the medical condition requirements and expected time to be spent with the patient.