After an illness or injury, being at home can be both a comfort and assist in the healing process. In some instances, home care can even be a cost-effective alternative to hospitalization or a rehabilitation facility.

“It is a known fact that patients recover better in the comfort of their own environment at home with familiar surroundings where friends and family can assist with recuperation,” Health First’s Corporate Director of Ambulatory Services Michelle Rogers explains. “One- on-one care is the preferred method of healing.”

There are many choices when home care is needed. Health First educates patients and their families about the services covered by their medical insurance.

Before leaving the hospital, patients should com- municate with their case manager and physician to see if they qualify for home health services. They can also set up a free in-home assessment for private duty nursing or companion care services, which can be paid for out of pocket.

Michelle recommends choosing an organization that offers caregivers who are employed by the agency, rather than contract employees. This is an important factor because Health First covers associ- ates’ payroll taxes, worker’s compensation and liabil- ity insurance, so the client does not have to worry. Here are some additional questions to consider:

  • Is there a registered nurse on-call for emergencies 24/7?
  • Does the company do drug testing as part of the hiring process?
  • Are they part of a larger network with extensive training resources and support for day-to-day operations?

“Anyone who has a medical condition requiring care that cannot be provided solely by family members
or friends could benefit from home care services,” Michelle said.

Here’s a quick explanation of Health First’s offerings:

Health First Home Care is short-term intermittent care generally funded by Medicare or a health plan. Home health visits are driven by a physician’s order and offers skilled nursing services, rehabilitation therapy, medical social workers, home health aides and more. Home health care can be a cost-effective alternative to hospitalization or a rehabilitation facility.

Health First Home Companions can assist with many daily tasks, including meal preparation and planning, companionship and conversation, groom- ing and dressing, as well as shopping and transportation. Whether a family member needs just a few hours a week of help or full-time assistance following a hospital stay, this program provides services that meet specific needs.

Health First Private Duty offers individualized home care. This allows patients to remain in their homes while maintaining independence in familiar surround- ings. This program can assist with sitters, companions and homemakers that can help with light housekeeping. They can also assist with meal preparation, transportation, bathing, dressing and complete personal care. In addition, respite and live-in care is also available. The program is covered by long-term care insur- ance or private pay.

Hospice of Health First provides services wherever your loved one feels most “at home.” Our goal is to keep patients where they are most comfortable, surrounded by their loved ones. They provide care in private homes, assisted living facilities, nursing homes and inpatient facilities such as the William Childs Hospice House, a facility located in a secluded area on the campus of Health First Palm Bay Hospital.

Families should do research to determine the best option, based on their loved ones’ needs.

HEALTH FIRST HOME CARE
(321) 434-5909 Health-First.org/homecare

HEALTH FIRST HOME COMPANIONS
(321) 459-1804 or Health-First.org/ homecompanions

HEALTH FIRST PRIVATE DUTY
(321) 459-1804 or Health-First.org/privateduty

HOSPICE OF HEALTH FIRST
(321) 952-0494 or Health-First.org/hospice

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