Bridging the Gap Between Crisis and Home

Published in Wellness Author: Carris Health

Recovering after hospitalization and/or surgery can be a challenging transition for patients and their families. Injuries, chronic illness and aging can also make it difficult to live at home safely. “Arriving home with new treatments, such as an I.V., new medications, therapy services, as well as physical and mental limitations, can make home feel not the ‘normal’ we want it to feel,” says Sue Nelson, home health coordinator at Carris Health. “At that time, it can be extremely beneficial to have the added support of our home care staff to make the adjustment to being home easier and safer.”

Customized Care

With a team of registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and home health aides, Carris Health Home Care services can provide extra care during a temporary timeframe or on an ongoing basis tailored to the unique needs of the patient. A home care nurse maintains continuity of care between the hospital setting, clinics, physicians and other health care resources, with everyone working together to create an individualized care plan.

“Having continuity of care can be so important, especially if family lives out-of-town or the patient has a limited support system–whether it’s setting up a medication program for a patient with a newly diagnosed chronic illness, or providing wound care for someone recovering from surgery,” explains Nelson.

Supporting the Caregiver

Caring for a loved one in the home can be very overwhelming for a spouse or child. Home care can help everyone involved — including giving the family the support they need. “Oftentimes a spouse is in the thick of care giving and learning along the way,” says Nelson. “Having that extra support can be extremely comforting, whether it be calling a nurse 24/7 with questions or knowing we can set up consultations with other services, such as diabetes care or respiratory therapy when needed.”

A home care nurse administering medicinePaying for Home Care

Home care payment options include many options and can often depend on the individual’s unique needs. Payment options include Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans, medical assistance, private insurance, Veterans Administration (VA) benefit, county waivered services, private pay insurance and long-term care insurance.

“We really encourage anyone looking into home care to call us and we can discuss the payment options based on their  needs and qualifications,” Nelson stresses.

In general, two criteria need to be met for Medicare to pay:

  • A need for skilled nursing care (such as IVs, wound care, therapy, etc.).
  • Being home-bound, meaning a person does not go out often, and when they do go out it is with

“We understand that the idea of being home-bound can be difficult for some patients to accept, but I always stress that this is a time for your body to heal and recover so that when your home-bound status ends, you can go out, feeling well rather than struggle and in many cases, have a longer recovery time,” says Nelson.

In most cases, a doctor referral is required for skilled nursing care and other home care services to be covered by medical insurance. Home care services may be short-term or long-term, depending on the person’s needs. “Some clients choose to pay privately for homemaker services or home health aide services, even if it’s not covered,” adds Nelson.

Free In-Home Evaluation

Take advantage of one in-home evaluation visit by a registered nurse to discuss care needs and payment options. There is no charge for this visit. Call 507-637-4579 to set up an evaluation Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Get Back on Your Feet with Home Care Services

If you’re planning to have surgery, such as joint replacement surgery, we encourage you to explore your options for home care services with Carris Health.