Chapter 8: Medical Care at Home
Even if their daily living skills have declined, your parents can remain in their home safely and happily with professional non-medical care, as we described in the last chapter. But what happens if one of them suffers a severe medical trauma, such as a stroke, a broken hip, or surgery that requires him to be fed intravenously afterward? Under those circumstances, will they have to go to a nursing home to recover?
Not necessarily. Over the past couple of decades, life-enhancing and lifesaving medical devices have become far more portable and far more adaptable to home use. Moreover, professional medical care agencies can provide teams of nurses, therapists, and other medical aides, and even physicians to make house calls, set up and operate that machinery, and supervise patients’ recoveries. What’s more, some of this in-home medical care may be paid for by your health insurance, long term care insurance or certain government programs.
According to the Visiting Nurse Association, a home health agency is likely to employ a range of professionals, including the following:
- Registered nurses
- Licensed practical nurses
- Physical therapists
- Social workers
- Speech language pathologists
- Occupational therapists
- Home health aides
Medical care at home is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to assisted living and especially as an alternative to nursing homes. The advantages of a home care agency are plain. Your loved one remains in his community, where family and friends can visit him often and easily. He can stay at home during his final months or years, through hospice care to the end of his life.