Transitioning to in home health care: Day 22 of 30 Day Family Caregiver Series

   In home health care

Remember, no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today

Home health care is a wide range of health care services that can be given in your home for an illness or injury. Home health care is usually less expensive, more convenient, and just as effective as care you get in a hospital or skilled nursing facility (SNF).

Examples of skilled home health services include:

  • Wound care for pressure sores or a surgical wound
  • Patient and caregiver education
  • Intravenous or nutrition therapy
  • Injections
  • Monitoring serious illness and unstable health status

The goal of home health care is to treat an illness or injury. Home health care helps you get better, regain your independence, and become as self-sufficient as possible. There are many considerations when working with home health care providers. Usually, a home health care provider is already selected based on your insurance and through working with the facility from which you are moving from (rehabilitation or assisted living). This isn’t always the case but for purposes of this article, I’m assuming your provider has already been selected. This post deals with how to work best with your home health care provider. Effectively working with your home health care provider  helps your loved one get the best possible care. Together, you make a top notch team. Things you can do to increase teamwork includes:

1. Always have your loved one’s medication list (of both prescription and non prescription drugs) on hand. In my emergency medical care mistakes post, I discuss details of what to have documented.

2. Do your best to have your loved one ready for your home health care provider. If their job is to check vitals and do an assessment, having them in the shower at appointment time holds everyone back. Of course, there are extenuating circumstances but as a general rule, have them ready.

3. Have all documentation handy. This includes any tracking lists for medications, blood sugar level checks, outpatient rehabilitation notes, etc…

4. Discuss any social worker needs. Most providers will ask how things are going on all levels. Be open with them. They may be able to help if  you are having trouble managing everything. At a minimum, they can provide resources for you.

5. Call if the condition changes or  you want to update the agency on something that worries you. You can also call and get nursing support over the phone and they’ll assess whether a visit is in order.

Here is information from the site about what to expect from home health care:

What should you expect from home health care?

  • Doctor’s orders are needed to start care. Once your doctor refers you for home health services, the home health agency will schedule an appointment and come to your home to talk to you about your needs and ask you some questions about your health.
  • The home health agency staff will also talk to your doctor about your care and keep your doctor updated about your progress.
  • It’s important that home health staff see you as often as the doctor ordered.

Examples of what the home health staff should do include:

  • Check what you’re eating and drinking.
  • Check your blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and breathing.
  • Check that you’re taking your prescription and other drugs and any treatments correctly.
  • Ask if you’re having pain.
  • Check your safety in the home.
  • Teach you about your care so you can take care of yourself.
  • Coordinate your care. This means they must communicate regularly with you, your doctor, and anyone else who gives you care.

If you do need help finding a home health care company to work with, here is a link to a home health care locator and comparison tool. If a facility recommends a company to you, they must also tell you if they have a financial interest in the company. If they don’t say anything, ask!

      Next up:    Assisted living due diligence – What to look for

It’s your turn: Have you had home health care services before and what was your experience? What tip do you find most useful from this post? Please comment below.


Join me for my FREE teleclass on Wednesday, April 30th, 2014, at 1:30pm PT/4:30pm ET on:

“The Top Five Mistakes Most Family Caregivers Make When It Comes To Keeping Loved Ones Safe

(and How To Avoid Them)”

Go to and register now.

The call will be recorded and  you and attend via web but you have to register to get the replay!


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Tandy Elisala

Family Caregiver Coach, Cancer Empowerment Advocate and Chief Inspiration Officer at Center for Inspiring Greatness | Empowered Family Caregiver
Tandy Elisala is passionate about helping family caregivers go from being overwhelmed and stressed to empowered and calm. Tandy went through cancer four times and learned how to heal using conventional, complementary, and alternative therapy. Tandy left her corporate career to take care of both parents simultaneously while raising three kids as a single mom. She took care of both parents for 2 1/2 years until their respective deaths. Tandy now teaches what she learned on her journey. Tandy is a family caregiver coach, a multiple best-selling author, inspirational speaker and mom to three adult kids, one angel dog and one diva cat.

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26 replies
  1. Roger
    Roger says:

    Thanks, Tandyfor your valuable info.Your tips are really helpful to understand the importance of a home health care strategy.A proper home health care planning needs to require some serious brainstorming to determine the best outcome. I found your article more interesting and useful as a tool which could help me explore my aging parents helping strategy.

  2. in home care
    in home care says:

    Every senior women is waiting for the time that they retire and have the great remaining years of their lives… It is important that they plan for a lot of things like traveling, etc. ahead of time before they retire. This article will help them a lot. 😀

    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Thanks for your comments. I agree that traveling BEFORE you retire is key to creating great memories. We never know what tomorrow will bring.

  3. independent living
    independent living says:

    For me? If I have that money to support my parents, I will give them the things that they need or they want. But It’s not just all about material things that they want. They want the attention of their loved ones.

  4. home and community care
    home and community care says:

    Hi Tandy! It’s really nice to hear those benefits and services that are offered by the home health care. But there are issues that are bothering us like maltreating caregivers. No ones gonna entrust their elders to that.

  5. Australian home care
    Australian home care says:

    The number one benefit of home health care is that it allows patients to receive personal care in the privacy and comfort of their own homes. For aging and homebound individuals, in-home care facilitates them in remaining as functional and independent as possible, providing a much higher sense of security and dignity.

  6. sound health advocate
    sound health advocate says:

    There are basically four types of medical care: preventive, palliative, curative and rehabilitative. Preventive medical care may seem to cost you or dig into your pocket since it has to be ritual but it’s the cheapest and safest form of medical care. I’m a big fan of achieving a sound health and best way is to go for medical checkup from time to time. We can not continue to guess on the happenings of our body system.

  7. Kristy Mobilitools
    Kristy Mobilitools says:

    Home care makes such a big difference, especially for people that have low chances of recovery. I have often come across the following thought: “Why be miserable and (most of the time) alone and anonymous among strangers, if you can be in your own home, in a familiar or friendly environment?”

  8. Kelly
    Kelly says:

    I can relate to this a lot. Home health is not just about independence for the provider but also the flexibility for the care recipient. Home Health Care is both about flexibility and responsibility. It also sometimes get more stressful given the travel involved. But I think it is such a satisfying experience purely on the basis of providing the much needed companionship to someone who needs it.

    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Thanks for your comments, Kelly. Home Health Care is indeed about flexibility and responsibility. It’s a much needed service for so many people.

  9. Johnny Shi
    Johnny Shi says:

    I like that the goal of home health care is to help people gain back independence. It really has a purpose. In my opinion having a purpose and keeping it in mind will really help people recover.

  10. Alana
    Alana says:

    Again, something to store away for the future – I haven’t had to use home health care for my mother in law – not yet, anyway, and I will pin this so I have the information when I need it. Thank you so very much!

    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Hi Alana, thanks so much for your support of the work I’m doing. I’m glad you have information on hand for when you need it.


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  1. […] the importance of balancing independence and safety. Towards the end, we covered transition of care, the who, what, when, and hows of assisted living, nursing home and rehabilitation. This was quite […]

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