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Home care is where the healing begins

November is National Home Care and Hospice Month

November 29, 2009
Messenger News

Each November, the National Association for Home Care celebrates National Home Care and Hospice month. The intent of this campaign is to raise public awareness concerning home care and hospice. ''Helping frail, disabled and dying Americans to remain independent and happy in their homes is our goal,'' said Val Halamandaris, the president of NAHC. ''Home care professionals and volunteers together with modern medicine and technology make it possible for sick citizens to be cared for in their homes where they are surrounded by loved ones and precious moments as they live their best quality of life.''

This is also the season to thank and honor all health care administrators, nurses, therapists, home care aides, social workers, clergy and volunteers. We recognize health care workers in the home make a remarkable difference in the lives of many patients and families every day.

What is home care?

Home care is the oldest and newest form of health care. This provision of care is physician-ordered and can include: nursing, therapy and personal care. Home health care is an alternative for individuals of any age whose condition does not require hospitalization or long term care, but does require continuing care, treatment or education. Services may include education following a hospitalization or after receiving a new diagnosis, wound care, IV therapy, medication management, lab testing and in-home safety evaluations. A new service recently available is telemonitoring. We can measure a patient's blood pressure, pulse, oxygen concentration and weight, and transmit that information to a clinician every day. This can assist patients to reach and maintain optimal health by tracking trends and recognizing a decline requiring a change in the treatment plan.

Consumers often prefer home care because:

it keeps families together,

supports independence and dignity,

can be significantly less expensive and more efficient than other forms of health care,

possibly prevents or postpones institutionalization,

involves the patient and family in services that are delivered,

represents the best American tradition and

it means high quality of life.

Home care is freedom: the right to be at home and independent in the face of major health problems.

Home care services are paid for by public and private sources. Third-party payers include commercial insurance, managed care organizations, Medicare and Medicaid programs. Patients are not denied care due to the inability to pay. Despite cutbacks in government funding, home care continues to be the preferred means of receiving high quality health care services for millions of Americans.

There are many reasons to support the good work of home care and hospice providers during this season.

Decisions regarding health care are currently under debate. Home health care is regarded as the most viable solution for providing long-term care to this country's growing elderly population. Future efforts will focus on helping patients with chronic illness effectively manage symptoms to prevent unnecessary hospitalization. Proper treatment and early intervention will work together with patients and families to make informed choices regarding medical treatment options.

Trinity Home Care and Hospice have been providing home health and supportive services for patients and families in the Fort Dodge and surrounding communities for more than 30 years.

Our care-giving team of professionals offers nursing care and hospice services in the comfort of your own home. We are also proud to be able to offer inpatient and respite hospice care at the Paula J. Baber Hospice Home, if needed.

Trinity Home Care joins the National Association of Home Care Association in applauding home care and hospice across the nation for the commitment to providing quality care to the patients and families they serve.

For more information please contact Trinity Home Care at 574-6416.

Janna Emick RN, BSN, CLNC, is director of Trinity Home Care and Hospice.



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