Before modern medicine, caring for someone medically in the home was quite common, and hospitalization was rare. Today, with a growing trend toward reduced hospital stays, home health care is gaining in popularity. While caregivers of the past were generally family members or friends, home health care today usually consists of a professional health care team working toward a common goal.
Today home health care may be considered for patients who are:
Recovering from an illness
Home health care is not an option for everyone. Generally, the patient receiving care or treatment at home must be well enough to be cared for in the home setting.
Many types of medical and social home health care services are available and may include:
Physical, occupational, and/or speech therapy
Medical social services
Care from home health aides
Homemaker or attendant care
Medical equipment and supplies
Laboratory and X-ray imaging
A patient may receive one of these services or a combination of several services.
Various agencies and other companies provide home health care, including:
Home health agencies
Homemaker and home care aide agencies
Pharmaceutical and infusion therapy companies
Durable medical equipment and supply dealers
Staffing registries and private duty agencies