If you are seeking home health care for a loved one who is recovering from an injury, then your options may seem overwhelming. While there are some home health care agencies that provide any service you need, many specialize and provide a particular "level" of care. Once you know what services each of these specialized agencies offer, you can then narrow down your agency choices to make your decision much easier.
1. Non-medical Caregivers
If your injured loved one needs a bit of help around the house, transportation, and some cooking performed for them, then a non-medical caregiver may be just what they need. A non-medical helper could be thought of as a personal assistant, household helper, and friend combined. While many are advertised as senior helpers, because seniors often use their services the most, they can help anyone of any age recovering from an injury.
Typically, anything hands-on is not provided by these helpers, but they can make life much easier if your loved one is on bed-rest or resting an injured limb and can only move about to go to the toilet and bathe. If your loved one needs help with showering, toileting, or incontinence care, then they will need a home health aide instead of a non-medical caregiver.
2. Standard Home Health Aides
Most people recovering from serious injuries who have limited mobility will need care provided by a home health aide, as these aids can offer help with daily activities of living, such as bathing, toileting, and incontinence care. They also help with preparing food for your loved one and feeding him or her if needed.
Home health aides focus less on the home and more on the direct care of your loved one. However, most are happy to help tidy up around the house after your loved one's basic needs are met and they have some extra time left during their shifts.
Home health aides are either licensed by the state or have advanced training in assisting with these hands-on tasks, while non-medical caregivers typically don't have this advanced training, as their duties do not require it. These aides can also perform some catheter care (such as emptying a catheter bag), but they cannot perform advanced healthcare procedures that only licensed LPNs and RNs can provide.
Examples of what they cannot provide are injectable medications, advanced wound care, and medication administration. They can, however, remind your loved one when to take their prescribed medications and help them access and open the bottles.
3. Home-duty Nurses
Licensed nurses can provide the highest level of care at home. Home-care nurses can perform all of the tasks already mentioned, but they can also provide advanced medical care, similar to services they perform in a hospital.
Home nurses can administer medication, including injections and IV medications. They can also provide advanced wound care, which includes removing bandages and cleaning wounds thoroughly before replacing them, and perform complete catheter care.
Now that you know what services are provided by each level of home care service, you may have a good idea how much help your loved one needs during recovery. Remember that many home care agencies offer more than one level of care, so as your loved one recovers, you can have the helpers you need when you need them. To get started, contact a company like Catawba County Home Health Agency.