National Home Care and Hospice Month
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice celebrates November as Home Care and Hospice Month. The theme for 2015 is ‘Home Care and Hospice Deliver Freedom’ — that is, the independence to remain living at home safely, and to stay out of the hospital.
Thousands upon thousands of skilled clinicians, including the exceptional nurses and therapists of Residential Home Health and Residential Hospice, make their way every day, in any weather, to wherever their patients call home. They deliver expert care, guidance, information, encouragement, and empowerment to maximize health and help patients and their caregivers manage chronic conditions. Read on to discover why care in the home is playing a growing role in health care, and how the Residential family is ready to meet the unique health needs of each of its patients.
Skilled Nursing and Therapy at Home
Healthcare can be delivered in numerous settings, from the physician’s office to a skilled nursing or rehab facility to a hospital emergency department. And although the care in any one setting may be stellar, sometimes the spaces between can suffer from a lack of coordination or consistency. Returning home from the hospital is one especially risky time for patients — the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) estimate that about 1 in 5 Medicare patients return to the hospital within 30 days of discharge. Some of the pitfalls during this time include the confusion of managing new or altered medications, weakness or diminished mobility that can increase the risk of falling, and lack of information that can cause early warning signs to be missed.
When skilled nursing and therapy is brought into the home, it can help ease the transition from other care settings, or increase oversight and assurance between physician appointments. At Residential Home Health, dedicated Transitional Nurse Liaisons are entrusted to oversee the entire journey from hospital to home. These TNLs ensure that care remains consistent, that communication is thorough, and that the patient is well equipped to begin a plan of home health care with his or her Residential Home Health Care Team.
In the home, Residential Home Health nurses and therapists do a supportive combination of listening, monitoring, and teaching. Sometimes they uncover errors, inconsistencies, or troubling symptoms; in fact, a 2011 report found that 62% more medication discrepancies were found during home visits than in phone interviews. Whether the situation calls for teaching a new skill or adapting a home for greater safety, the clinicians of Residential are indeed delivering the freedom to age in place with more assurance and self-sufficiency.
Caring, Not Curing, In Familiar Surroundings
In-home hospice care is also on the rise, reflecting the 75% of people who prefer to spend their final days in their homes. When the focus of care shifts to caring only, not curing, there may be no more comforting setting than the familiar surroundings of home, which reinforces Residential Hospice’s focus on preserving quality of life and dignity for its patients. The complex needs of patients and their loved ones are met with emotional and spiritual support, as well as management of pain and other disruptive symptoms, such as nausea or trouble sleeping. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization refers to this multi-faceted approach to care as ‘hospice palliative care’; in fact, it recognizes the month of November as National Hospice and Palliative Care Month.
Yet palliative care is also appropriate for care settings other than hospice. For patients working to manage a debilitating disease, palliative care can be a welcome partner to curative care, helping to ease pain and other symptoms that may persist through treatment. Patients of Residential Home Health can also receive specialized pain and symptom management through the Comfort Path program, which offers both physical and emotional support to supplement the work of the Residential Home Health Care Team. For every patient’s every unique health need, Residential Home Health and Residential Hospice are well equipped to deliver a consistently high level of coordinated care, wherever a patient calls home.
No matter what your health challenge, Residential Home Health offers a range of services to help you work toward your health goals safely at home. Call (888)930-WELL (9355) to discuss your specific situation with a Home Care Specialist today, or click the image below to take our 60-second, 15-question Home Care Assessment.