All About California Daily News

What You Should Know About Home Health Care

Aug 16

Home Health Care is medical care delivered at your home to help manage a chronic health condition or recover from surgery, illness, or injury. It is usually covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance.

Look for home health agencies that are certified by Medicare. They will have a good track record and be able to provide references you can contact.

Dietary Assessments

Dietary assessments are an essential tool in assessing the nutritional status of home health care patients. This initial screening can detect underlying problems and identify those who may benefit from further testing or intervention.

The dietary assessment is done either by subjective report (information collected from the patient) or objective observation (documented information documented by nursing, doctors or other health care professionals). The dietary intake can be measured by using food diaries, FFQs or 24-hour recalls.

De Vries noted that self-reported methods generally result in a small underestimation of dietary intake and would benefit from further validation in diverse older populations. She also urged that consideration of functional capabilities in designing dietary assessment tools is required.

ACAORN has developed a dietary assessment toolkit that provides an overview of available tools, along with their strengths and weaknesses. It is designed to help researchers choose the most appropriate tool for a study, taking into account the purposes of the study and practical and financial restraints.

Laboratory Tests

Laboratory tests are an important part of your healthcare. They provide information about your health status that you and your doctor can use to diagnose, monitor and treat your condition.

Almost all hospitals have labs, which can process hundreds of samples in a shift. Many of these tests are used in the emergency department, or to monitor patients who are hospitalized for chronic diseases like heart disease or cancer.

Point-of-care (POC) testing has become a vital complement to laboratory tests. POC devices allow you and your physician to gather immediate information in the clinic, on an ambulance or at an accident scene, for example.

Direct access testing has been around for some time, including over-the-counter tests for conditions like blood pressure and cholesterol. You can also get at-home tests from some retail centers, wellness centers or drugstores. These tests don’t require the supervision of a healthcare professional, but you should check that they have been FDA approved or are CLIA certified.

Medical Equipment

Many seniors who return home from the hospital need medical equipment and supplies. Often, the discharge planner will only present the option for which their insurance company will pay, so it’s important for caregivers to be proactive in finding out about all options available and how to obtain them.

Durable medical equipment is a term that encompasses a wide range of items including hospital beds, mobility aids (such as walkers or wheelchairs), personal care aids and medical supplies such as blood sugar test strips, incontinence products and catheters. It also includes medical supplies that are re-used, such as dressing aids or ostomy supplies.

Many of these supplies can be found at home health equipment suppliers and can be rented or purchased, depending on your older adult’s insurance coverage. It’s important to know where to get the best value when purchasing or renting these types of items. In addition, it’s a good idea to ask your elder care team for references to trusted local suppliers of these supplies.


Northeast Ohio Home Health Care can help with transportation to and from doctor appointments. In some cases, they can coordinate rides through community services that provide subsidized or discounted transit for seniors and people with disabilities. Often, these services are available through local public bus, rail or trolley lines in metropolitan areas. In rural communities, they might be provided by volunteer organizations or community transportation services.

If your loved one is considering home health care, it’s important to do your research to ensure they get the best possible care. Asking friends and family members who have used the service for recommendations is a good place to start, says Yount. You also want to make sure the home health agency you choose will work with your hospital to reduce avoidable readmissions. This can help lower costs and improve outcomes. It can also help your loved one stay at home longer, avoiding the need for a hospitalization or nursing facility placement.