As the population of the United States gets older, and medical science makes it so as to have people live longer, healthcare will be the most important thing being discussed in the U.S. for years to come. Perhaps the biggest offshoot of general healthcare is home healthcare. Over the years, the desire for patients to maintain as much of an independent home life as possible while receiving care has become a necessary part of the treatment conversation with little sign of slowing down.
Home healthcare can be very complicated. All one needs to do is think about what it would take to treat someone with serious mobility issues away from a hospital. What if a patient has begun to hit the latter stages of Alzheimer’s and requires twenty-four hour monitoring? Most homes are not equipped to handle the amount of retrofitting and renovation it would take to make a home environment as conducive as possible to getting the best care. Still, home healthcare is strong.
Beyond the numbers and logistics, it’s important to talk about home healthcare as it pertains to maintaining a basic quality of life while still receiving medical treatment. More patients feel that they best way for them to heal and recover is at home with loved ones in an environment that is familiar. It’s hard to argue with this line of reasoning, but you can’t help but feel as though you need more information.
If you’re still not sure about home healthcare and what it can mean for you & your family, here are five things you should know about it:
Discuss It Even When It Seems Far Away – Advanced directives and end-of-life documents are not great conversation topics, but they are important and need to take place. Take care of this stuff while you still can.
There Are Variants of Home Healthcare – Home healthcare can vary from help with errands for the elderly to changing soiled sheets for a bedridden patient. Outlining what you or your family member needs will help you find the right agency to provide services in your home.
It’s All About the Human Connection – Medicine is a sterile, often cold mistress. It’s not friendly. Here’s is where the best home healthcare agencies shine. Their employees make the effort to connect with patients so as to make them feel important & help remove any idea they may have about being a burden.
Training Is Vital to Its Success – As such, it’s important to maintain standards for individuals that will be working with our loved ones. The amount of training can vary for employment, so be proactive and ask about it before hiring someone.
Communication Is A Cornerstone – The biggest complaint about caregivers is that there is a lack of communication with patients & patient families. This is unacceptable. A patient and his or her family depends on a caregiver to be there when needed, and a lack of communication is a sure way to cause irreparable harm to the patient-caregiver relationship.
Home healthcare, like all matters of aging, can be hard to talk about and feel a bit morbid. Nonetheless, it’s important to discuss matters of care and advanced directives because you still can. It does no one any good down the line when cognition has been compromised. You’ve got a lot of good years left. Make the most of them and talk about the hard stuff now so that you can get busy focusing on the great stuff.