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Home health care

Home health; Skilled nursing - home health; Skilled nursing - home care; Physical therapy - at home; Occupational therapy - at home; Discharge - home health care

I Would Like to Learn About:

Getting Ready to go Home

You are likely excited about going home after being in the hospital, skilled nursing center, or rehabilitation facility.

You should probably be able to go home once you are able to:

Help you may Need at Home

Going home does not mean you no longer need medical care. You may need help:

Also, you may still need help taking care of yourself at home. Common needs include help with:

Help From Family Members and Friends

While you may have family and friends to help, they must be able to do all the tasks and provide all the help you need to ensure you have a quick and safe recovery.

If not, talk to the hospital social worker or discharge nurse about getting help in your home. They may be able to have someone come to your home and determine what help you may need.

Types of Home Care

Besides family members and friends, many different types of care providers can come into your home to help with movement and exercises, wound care, and daily living.

Home health care nurses can help manage problems with your wound, other medical problems, and any medicines that you may be taking.

Physical and occupational therapists can make sure your home is set up so that it will be easy and safe to move around and take care of yourself. They may also help with exercises when you first get home.

You will need a referral from your doctor to have these providers visit your home. Your health insurance will often pay for these visits if you have a referral. But you should still make sure it is covered.

Other types of assistance are available for tasks or issues that do not require the medical knowledge of nurses and therapists. Names of some of these professionals include:

Sometimes, insurance will pay for visits from these professionals, as well.

References

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website. What's home health care? www.medicare.gov/what-medicare-covers/whats-home-health-care. Accessed February 5, 2020.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website. What is home health compare?  www.medicare.gov/HomeHealthCompare/About/What-Is-HHC.html. Accessed February 5, 2020.

Heflin MT, Cohen HJ. The aging patient. In: Benjamin IJ, Griggs RC, Wing EJ, Fitz JG, eds. Andreoli and Carpenter's Cecil Essentials of Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 124.

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Review Date: 1/23/2020  

Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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