Senior Resources » Home Care » Getting a Home Health Assessment

Getting a Home Health Assessment

Terry Wilson and Sheena Paylor, area VP for Assured HomeHealth, talk about signs that might indicate a need of home health for a loved one. Assured HomeHealth is the largest home health agency by county in the state of Washington. Home health is a huge part of senior care, a benefit that can be requested at any time, without first having a hospital stay. It is paid for by Medicare and can include preventative care, including fall prevention. If mom gets up and walks by holding onto walls and chairs, she might be afraid of falling. Is house-keeping failing? Does she sleep in a recliner, afraid to walk to bed? Keeping seniors more physically active and mobile, but safe, is key. Our therapist or nurse prepares an in-depth assessment and puts together a care plan, working with their physician, and then visits her two or three times a week. As part of a tailored program, additional help might be given with bathing or dispensing medications.

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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.

The following is a podcast from a qualified senior care provider, hurt, on the answers for elders radio show. And Welcome back to answers for elders radio. We are here with two very special guests because they haven’t been before, but I’m very excited to talk about home health and what is it, and I have wonderful Terry Wilson from assured home health and Sheena Paylor at, who is the area of vice president for assured home health. Welcome, ladies to our program today. Thank you, baby here. We’re excited to have you guys, because obviously home health is a huge part of senior care and so many families don’t understand number one, with the differences between non medical home care and home health. Their entirely different things, and so before we even begin the conversation, I want to tell our listeners today that home health is something that you guys need to pay attention to because it is paid for by Medicare and it is something that can be preventative care for your loved one if they’re starting to have some issues, and that’s what we want to talk about today. So Sheina and Terry, so glad you’re here tell us a little bit about, you know, preventative care and what home health can do. Definitely preventive care. Specifically, what we focus a lot are often times is on falls and how can we prevent a fall from happening. Our goal, as is most of our patients, is to keep them at home as long as possible but at the same time as safe as possible. So what we do as we go in the home with our therapy team, which consists of physical therapists occupational therapists, and they do a safety evaluation with that patient and they help teach them ways to prevent falls. Maybe it maybe exercise program to strengthen their muscles. Absolutely and it’s so important, especially what I know about seniors. Oftentimes, when they still live at home, as they start needing more care, they start being more fraid to do things and get up and move more and that can cause kind of a bad, you know storm, perfect storm, blue brewing, is what we say. So, you know, one of the things as adult children, as we come in and we see our parent, what are some signs that probably would be indicator that maybe we better have a conversation with your loved ones? Doctor, I think the first sign would be when you see mom get up to ask her to make a cup of copy for you or get something out of the refrigerator, and is she walk on the walls or is she holding onto the backs of chairs as she navigates through? That’s the first sign that they’re fearful. Well well, and I think to one of the things that’s really important by that is, you know, I always talked about chair walking. I think the other thing is just that level of do they go outside very often? You know, are they are their yards darting to look? Yeah, do they take their garbage out? There’s a lot of things that if there’s mobility issues. One of the I think always look at is, you know what’s going on. You know, is mom, how’s the house clean cleaning? If she’s doing your housekeeping, you know, if it’s she doesn’t want to dust anymore, probably it’s because she doesn’t feel comfortable to get up and do things. I mean, what would you guys think about that? Definitely that’s exactly a huge signs of concern. Oftentimes we see people sleeping in their recliners just because they don’t want to have to get up and go to their room. Risk of fall maybe they’re tired, absolutely, and then they just they’re there in that recliner for the majority of the day. Their muscles are becoming more and more weaker, their social aspect of things are declining and depression starts to setten. So keeping them exactly, like you said, active and mobile but safe. Well, and I’ve also seen where seniors oftentimes will have eythritis, you know, and they’ll get it in their joints, different things like that. Luckily, today we have all kinds of wonderful treatments to help seniors that are in pain, have joint pain, and one of the things that you guys can do is kind of assist with that and helping them, you know, to be more physically active so that they can work the muscles and it can help them. Tell us a little bit about, you know, what do you do when you come into a senior’s home to help them? So how it begins? As our therapist or nurse, we have skilled nursing as well as an evaluation, and it’s a pretty in depth evaluation as far as their health history, their concerns, why they needed our services to begin with. Safety as the biggest first focus, whether it be if it’s something fall related. They do they do an assessment of the home. Maybe there’s rugs port that are are a possibility to slip on, or maybe they have an oxygen tank and there’s cords that are in the way and they could trip over, or maybe there’s a vision deficit and they need some kind of color blocking to help reduce that risk of maybe a step that they may miss. And so we do that evaluation and we put a care plan together. At that time, we work very closely with that patient’s physical physician and we begin to see them on an intermittent basis. So two three times a week maybe that therapist will come out and work with them on goals. And that’s our focus, is to get them to a baseline to where they can stay at home and be safe and independent. And you know, think about it from a family’s perspective. We want mom and dad to stay home as long as humanly possible and that means mom or dad need to be active and if there’s a concern, I know that. You know, even if it’s mom needs help to walk from the car into the grocery store or if mom is using a little cart because she just can’t navigate the store anymore. Those are indicators to me. Let’s get ahold of their doctor and bring in a free service like a shirt home health, and it’s so easy to do and we’re happy to even help families obtain those order for them. That’s part of what I do. When the assessment is done, then a plan is put into place and perhaps there’s another need. Perhaps sure we can call in a bathete you know that they’re not happy with exact daughter to shower them, but they need help with that and maybe their medications. The therapist thinks that that might have something to do. But the our therapists are so good at what they do as they’ll check to see if it’s the ears or the balance or the knees or or the feet and then tailor a program our success rate with the shirt home health, just so you know, we are the highest Ms Star rating in the state of Washington at four point five, and that’s through the Medicare standard with the lowest haspry hospitalizations. That’s awesome and it’s so proud of that and that’s because of the quality of our calonitias. And then we’re being more active and educating the community on and even physicians that home health is a benefit that can be called on anytime. Anytime not have to have a hospital stay of three nights. So what areas? I know that tell us a little bit about you know what areas that you serve. So we are the largest home health agency by by county and the state of Washington. We service all the way as far north as snow homish county to as far south as Cowitts County and long forew Washington. If we do not serve as an area that you live in, I can guarantee we know who does and we can help directly. Are To that. That’s what that agency and we are talking again with Sheena Paylor, and she is the area vice president of assured home health, and Terry Wilson, who is the account executive, and you guys are amazing to be here and you know, talking about prevention. You know, I I guess I have a wish out there as a I was a daughter and and I was working in the corporate world and I was so afraid for my mom, but I didn’t know. What I didn’t know. And one of the things that I happen to know is that not only can we ask for home health and I didn’t know that I was able to do that. But we can also choose what company we go with. Oftentimes, what will happen is if mom or dad are discharge from Rehab or they’re part of assisted living or something like that, and home health gets ordered, they just bring in somebody and you don’t realize as a daughter, that you can say no, I want a shirt home health to do this, and I think that’s one of the things that really I would love to spend more time through this show and maybe during future shows, is talk about that. There’s absolutely a difference between the different types of home care agencies out there and certainly coming to the different types of, you know, services that home health agencies provide, and I think that’s something that we should definitely talk about a little bit. What set you guys apart? Thank you. So you’re correct. You do have a choice and in the end, all of the home health agencies provide the same service as however, what sets us apart, I would say, is not only, like Terry mentioned, the quality of clinicians that we have, but the programs that we offer. We have programs that’s are specific to to falls related to dizziness. Our clinicians are certified and trained specifically for that. We have a continents program for men or women, and that relates to falls in so many ways. So often times falls are happening in the middle of the night and they’re falling because they’re getting up time and time again to you the rest room. It’s Dargency, they bound them, they’re tired, and so we have a noninvasive program that no one else has anything like that has such great outcomes that we provide and and it’s something that I wish everyone could could benefit from because there’s such a need. Well, and it’s both bow and bladder. That’s awesome, but it’s strengthens the pelvic muscles. It’s done with clothes on, with a band and the ball, and we have seen success even with Alzheimer’s patients. That’s wonderful. That’s wonderful. So just getting back to fall prevention while we wrap up the segment, there’s some really good things that if I’m a daughter or son, if I go into mom or Dad’s house on one thing I always say is if there’s the throw rug on the floor, get them picked up. What are some other little just red red flag things that you can think of the bathroom, maybe grab bars, which we help with, setting up DMI equipment and what’s available to them, like I mentioned the chords, maybe a lamp cord. Maybe they need to have their home set up just a little bit differently as far as where things are placed. The kitchen. We get read of clutter. Exactly. Yeah, exactly, and I think that’s oftentimes again the mobility issues. Mom or dad aren’t going to reach and put that item away on the top shelf anymore, right so it’s going to the counters, going to be full of clutter, things like that. Another thing is visual perhaps just installing a lot of night lights in the hall so they can navigate with most. A lot of people now are putting those rope lights under beds and around the door frames just to help and navigating. Absolutely. So how do we reach you guys? Well, the easiest thing you can always find us on our website, and that is to our parent company, which is Lahc Groupcom our Seattle office. You could call them directly at two thousand and six, three and six four, one four eight four, and I always have my phone on and I’m happy that give an answer or find an answer and my numbers two zero six, zero, zero six thirty two answers for elders radio show with Suzanne Newman. Hopes you found this podcast useful in your journey of navigating senior care. Check out more podcast like this to help you find qualified senior care experts and areas of financial, legal, health and wellness and living options. Learn about our radio show, receive our monthly newsletter, receive promotional discounts and meet our experts by clicking on the banner to join the Senior Advocate Network at answers for eldersRADIO.COM. Now there is one place to find the answers for elders


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Originally published June 16, 2018

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