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 From the Well4Life Blog 
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Why Home Health Care?

There's no place like home when a family member needs health care 

  • Home healthcare meets both Patient and caregiver needs
  • Shorter hospital stays and the need for continued treatment make professional homecare a must

Nothing helps a patient heal better than being home, surrounded with personal belongings, familiar objects, friends, family, and pets.  Home healthcare can help patients heal faster because they have peace of mind. No hospital stress or worrying about what’s happening at home. 

Furthermore, when a patient is healing at home, friends and family don’t have to make time to travel to/from visiting a hospital or nursing home during scheduled hours, so home healthcare benefits friends and family as well.

The Need for Healthcare at Home

The limits insurance carriers place on paying medical bills has resulted in significantly shortened hospital stays

The solution: Teams of professional skilled healthcare workers who attend to the patient’s needs at home. 

And what better way to have healthcare at home than with a team from the same hospital from which you were discharged?  No one will enable greater coordination between home and hospital, and no one will better understand your needs than your own hospital’s home healthcare staff.

Skilled healthcare at home is an integral part of the changing healing process. But it’s not a silver bullet:  The patient’s physician must write a prescription for specific, experienced, professional home healthcare to treat each specific patient need, so insurance providers, including Medicare, pay the bill – or at least a substantial portion of it. 

Be sure to check with your insurance carrier before making home healthcare arrangements, just to confirm what they’ll pay and how much you, or the patient, are responsible for, if any.

In-Home Medical Tele-Monitoring

Through tele-monitoring, AtlantiCare Healthcare at Home stays in touch with a patient’s condition 24/7.

Tele-monitoring is opening up a whole new world in the advancement of home healthcare!  The device, worn by the patient, transmits instant remote patient diagnoses, and changes in vital signs to appropriate medical staff members at the hospital.  

Doctors, nurses and technicians there are able to immediately detect changing signs that may spell danger, and to intervene in time with appropriate medical action.

Tele-monitoring increases quality of home care while reducing its costs.

Home monitoring is used for managing a variety of health conditions, such as:

  • Congestive heart failure.  A sudden spike in weight can indicate fluid buildup or a deteriorating condition.  Caught early through tele-monitoring, the condition can be easily managed and hospitalization reduced.
  • Diabetes.  Patients can be monitored to make sure they regularly check their blood glucose levels and maintain these levels within a healthy range.
  • Unexplained fainting spells and other symptoms.  Difficult to diagnose because they probably occur irregularly.  When the patient wears a mini-electrocardiograph device, it continually sends the hospital data for review so medical professionals will catch patients experiencing cardiac problems right at the instant as they are occurring.

Patients with different conditions wear different types of monitors, all physician-prescribed.

Hospice Myths and Facts

MYTH: HOSPICE CARE IS ONLY FOR PATIENTS WHO ARE RAPIDLY APPROACHING DEATH.

FACT:  An early referral to the AtlantiCare's Hospice Program gives patients and their families the opportunity to fully benefit from its services.

MYTH: HOSPICE CARE  IS ONLY FOR PATIENTS DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER.

FACT: AtlantiCare's hospice program is for patients and their families during any life-limiting disease.

MYTH: HOSPICE CARE IS ONLY FOR PEOPLE WHO CARRY PRIVATE INSURANCE.

FACT: Hospice care is for everyone regardless of ability to pay.  Hospice care is covered under Medicare, Medicaid, most private insurance plans, local and community groups, as well as many faith-based organizations.

MYTH: HOSPICE CARE IS THE SAME AS HOME HEALTH CARE.

FACT: Hospice is totally different in that hospice staff is specially trained in providing…

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Spiritual

support to families.  Grief support is provided after the patient’s death.

MYTH: HOSPICE PATIENTS MUST BE AT HOME.

FACT: Patients don’t have to be at home to receive hospice services.  Hospice encourages patients to be as active as possible and to live life to the fullest every possible moment.

MYTH: HOSPICE SERVICES STOP WHEN THE PATIENT DIES.

FACT: Hospice provides free grief support to families for a year or longer after the patient’s death.

MYTH: HOSPICE IS A SPECIAL FACLITY.

FACT: Hospice care is provided wherever the patient lives:

  • Home
  • Nursing home
  • Assisted living facility
  • Hospital
  • Hospice in-patient unit

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Home Care Myths & Facts

MYTH:  HOME CARE IS ONLY FOR OLDER PEOPLE

FALSE!  Home care is for anyone who needs it, from new mothers to people in life-changing situations:

  • Been injured in accidents
  • Developed serious progressive diseases, such as MS, muscular dystrophy, Alzheimer’s, cancer, or any other debilitating disease
  • Suffered mishaps that have temporarily disabled a patient
  • Discharged post-operative patients whose insurance benefits ran out

MYTH:  HOME CARE IS EXPENSIVE AND ONLY WEALTHY PEOPLE CAN AFFORD IT.

FALSE! There are several ways to get needed home care.  New programs are constantly being developed for people who don’t have medical insurance, or whose medical benefits have been exhausted.

  • VA benefits
  • Long term insurance
  • State programs
  • Community programs
  • Medicaid
  • Faith-based programs
  • Hospitals may help or refer you to local programs that will help

MYTH:  HOME CARE IS AN ALTERNATIVE TO HOSPITALS OR NURSING HOMES

FALSE!  Home care provided by professional caregivers often supplement s other care arrangements and enable patients who need it to get care.

MYTH:  LONGTERM CARE EXISTS ONLY IN NURSING HOMES

FALSE!  Most seniors prefer to live out their lives in their own homes. Some require medical assistance, which is available through local sources, but a lot of required elder help is non-medical, obtained through local sources, and helpful friends and neighbors.

MYTH:  HOMECARE SOLVES ALL MEDICAL ISSUES

FALSE!  In many cases, a home healthcare nurses instructs a family member – or members – on how to care for patients.  She’ll also provide family members with a list of community groups that are available to help them, either free of charge, or at nominal cost.

MYTH:  THE ONLY SOLUTION FOR PEOPLE AFFLICTED WITH ALZHEIMER’S IS FOR A FAMILY MEMBER TO STAY HOME AND CONSTANTLY KEEP WATCH OVER THEM

FALSE! There are several care options available other than home care.  Consider special assisted living facilities.  Some are specially equipped to care for Alzheimer’s patients.  Such places should place special emphasis on:

  • Safety, within the patient’s living quarters
  • Supervision, so wandering patients are monitored
  • Structured routine with constant activities that are similar to the patient’s regular lifestyle
  • Sensitive personalized attention from Alzheimer’s care staffers who  have a full understanding of the patient’s needs and habits

Consider a local adult day care facility that has special facilities for patients with dementia or progressive Alzheimer’s Disease.

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AtlantiCare's Palliative Care Services

Managing symptoms of progressive illness for patients in South Jersey

AtlantiCare Healthcare at Home provides professional palliative care, a highly specialized form of home health care that supports the needs of patients facing progressive illness.  Its focus: managing the patient’s symptoms in a way that enhances their quality of life.

Patients requiring palliative care at home are not necessarily facing end-of-life problems.  They could:

  • Recover fully
  • Live with a chronic disease for an extended period of time, adjusting their lifestyle to accommodate the disability
  • Experience a disease which gets progressively worse

Palliative care:

  • Relieves pain and suffering
  • Relieves other physical problems
  • Relieves psychosocial problems 
  • Provides faith-based support

Palliative care treats patients in a way that restores their dignity.  It’s used to treat:

  • Chronic progressive pulmonary disorders
  • Chronic heart failure
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Progressive neurological conditions
  • Some forms of cancer

The AtlantiCare Healthcare at Home Palliative staff includes:

  • Certified oncology nurses
  • Certified professional nurses
  • Certified psychiatric nurses
  • Spiritual  care support
  • Specially-trained Home Health Aides
  • Social workers
  • Nutritional counselors
  • Certified physical therapists
  • Certified respiratory therapists
  • Staff physicians at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center

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Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award      Nursing Magnet Recognition  Healthcare Equality Index Leader 2014