More on Home Health

When the doctor orders home health for the patient the initial step once the patient gets home is that the company will call the patient and set up an initial evaluation. The doctor will make a recommendation as to how  many times a week they  would like the patient to have therapy or assistance. It will depend on the type and the coverage of the insurance as to what is approved. The nurse will do a detailed interview and get the history of the patient. If the patient has tendencies to be confused, then it is a good idea for a family member that knows the history to be there for the evaluation. Depending on the illness or therapy of the patient it will be decided if a nurse needs to come for visits on a regular visit, as needed, or only to be reevaluated if more time is needed. In addition to the nurse, it may be decided that the patient needs assistance with ADL’s {Activities of Daily Living} and/or IADL’s {Instrumental Activities of Daily Living}. ADL’s are activities  such as bathing or showering themselves, the ability to prepare their food and feed themselves, ability to go to the bathroom independently with good hygiene, walking by themselves. IADL’s are activities such as grocery shopping,  taking prescribed medications, cleaning the house. washing clothes, managing their finances, using a telephone.

If it is determined that assistance is needed for either, the services will be set up depending on the insurance if it is covered. Many insurances do not cover this. I recommend a licensed, insured and bonded  company. Their are companies that do not meet those qualifications, and there are private caregivers. {More on this tomorrow}.The company that sends the nurse may also have caregivers that they employ. I always recommend that you ask to interview more than one caregiver. You need to match the skill level, the personality, and the communication. Just remember, that once you choose someone and if you change your mind and don’t think you have the right person, you can request someone else.

Another aspect you may have is the need for Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy. I recommend for at least the first visit that someone besides the patient be present. It is a known fact, that many first visits by PT/OT results in an Emergency Room visit later that evening or the next day by over working the patient.



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