Resources & Articles

From the Nurses Station: The Importance of Home Care

by Tim Bayer

As “baby boomers” continue to retire and reap the benefits of their hard work a new need is rapidly exploding; in-home care. This surge in retirees coupled with an increase in life expectancy has resulted in a new “life after work” with new independence. Retirees are pursuing old hobbies they had placed on the back burner, continuing or expanding on hobbies they maintained, or advancing education and finding new interests.  Of course many of these activities still require some mental and physical stamina.

Advancements in medical technology have allowed procedures such as knee and hip replacements to be more accessible to patients. These procedures come with a recovery period of 6-12 months with the expectation that there will be a return to the patient’s baseline, if not improvement, in their function. This recovery period is crucial but formal assistance covered by Medicare is sparse. Post surgery, a patient can be expected to be transferred to a sub acute rehabilitation floor or facility for up to 30 days before discharging to home. In-home physical and occupational therapy may continue for some time after that but routine daily function is typically not provided. As this recovery period is considered long-term but not permanent; a need for a move to independent or assisted living typically would not be necessary. Instead, a client would be able to remain in their home and receive assistance to complete their ADLs and IADLs.

This is where in-home care steps in, providing this daily assistance for clients and allowing them to gradually return to their normal, independent lives.

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