Inpatient hospitalization is definitely required for some medical conditions. No one wants to have open heart surgery at home! However, community health care is appropriate for numerous conditions and it offers many benefits.

Patients that don’t need intensive medical care can receive care in their own homes from registered nurses, certified nursing assistants and home health aides, physical therapists, occupational therapist, social workers and chaplains. Registered nurses perform tasks like changing dressings, monitoring and administering medications, drawing blood samples for laboratory tests and educating patients and family members. Home health aides performs tasks like assisting patients with personal hygiene, preparing meals and helping patients eat, checking vital signs and performing light housekeeping tasks, allowing patients to remain in their own homes with their families while receiving the help that they need.

There are numerous benefits of community home health care. It costs less than hospitalization or nursing home care. It allows patients to be with their loved ones, with their pets, in comfortable and familiar surroundings. Many patients report feeling more comfortable in their own homes and say that they sleep better in their own beds and eat better when served the home cooked food they are used to eating. They have more privacy at home, it’s quieter and more peaceful at home and they retain more control over their own lives and health care in the home setting.

Community home health care benefits families, too. Family members get to spend time with loved ones without making regular trips to a hospital or nursing home; some family members have trouble arranging transportation and the hospital might be quite a distance from the home. With home health care services, though, family members do not become so overwhelmed with the care of their loved one. Most family members are not trained to provide the kind of help patients need and having in-home professional help relieves them of the need to do work for which they are not prepared. Perhaps most importantly, it allows families to stay together.

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