A major focus of health care recently is the goal of preventing unnecessary emergency room visits. This story from the New York Times, tells us about a 75 year-old man who visited the ER with a high fever. After being admitted to the hospital and undergoing numerous tests, the doctors analyzed a urine test and determined he had a urinary tract infection. This simple diagnosis came at the cost of thousands of dollars to the government-run Medicare program.

Physicians and all health care professionals are feeling the pressure to reduce unnecessary emergency room visits, and cutting costs, but how? One solution for Elders is home care options to manage chronic conditions and other aging-related illnesses before they become full-fledged problems that require emergency attention.

Tabitha’s home health care division works directly with physicians, educating them on the signs and conditions where home health care can be beneficial - even preventing some of those unnecessary ER visits.

Factors that may signal a need for in-home services:

Clinical Conditions -  recurrent hospitalizations, chronic diseases, joint replacements, changes in overall function

Activities of Daily Living Changes - changes in ability to dress, groom, bathe

Nutrition Changes -  significant weight loss or gain, inability to prepare meals or use utensils

Ambulation Difficulties - difficulties in walking, balance; a history of falls or increased use of a wheelchair

Medication Management Factors - forgetting to take prescriptions, difficulty in managing multiple medications

Cognition Factors - confusion in performing familiar tasks, difficulty concentrating or inability to perform routine activities of daily living

Driving Factors - recent car accidents, decreased reaction times or acuity behind the wheel, difficulty reading maps

Factors Around the Home - the inability to perform light cleaning tasks, managing bills, excessive clutter or the inability to communicate or hear on the phone

Sometimes, family caregiver assistance is considered as a replacement for professional home care services. When considering home health versus family caregiving, consider the caregiver’s age, education, employment and family status, and the ability to perform physically demanding assistance for their loved one.

Tabitha professionals work everyday with physicians to keep Elders where they want to be - at home and out of the hospital. For more information about Tabitha’s home care services which range from non-medical support to a delivered meal to a daytime home away from home and medical therapy services, visit us online!