Home health is medical or rehabilitative care in the home, so it varies dramatically from what we call home care. Chris Strand at Careage provides an overview of Home health, explaining how it encompasses physical therapy, nursing, occupational therapy, speech therapy, social work, and a bathing assistant. Those services are available just by asking.
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This is a special presentation of answers for elders with Careage and welcome to answers for elders radio everyone. We are here with a wonderful partner, again of Careage, but this time it’s really unique in the fact that we are talking to Chris Strand, who is the community liaison of Careage home health. Chris, welcome to answers for elders radio. Thank you for having me, Suzanne. You know, Chris, your company, Careage has been such an amazing partner to us. Not only have we had the privilege of experiencing the level of care and services that your company provides in a more skilled environment, whether it’s retirement living or skilled care, whether it’s mission health care and skilled nursing, but the beauty of a company like working with carriages. You also go into seniors home for to do things like what’s called respite care and for or different types of home health type applications where it really involves more of a medical focus. And so you’re here pretty much to talk about, which I love, is what is home health? A lot of times people think home health is what we call home care, which is more of a non medical type thing, and those. There’s some real differences within the two. So, Chris, tell me a little bit about you and and about carriage home health. Yes, thank you. I am a social worker by trade and have been in the medical industry here in the Puget Sound over thirty years. I had practice discharge planning out of a skilled nursing environment or hospital environment. Right. That’s my background, and then it was an easy transition coming on to Careage home health because I feel like now I’m on the other side of the table. Instead of liking referrals, I’m obtaining referrals for home health. And home health is is medical or rehabilitative care in the home. So it varies different dramatically from home care. Right. So home health is rehabilitative and it’s skilled nursing care. If you have a loved one that’s maybe in Rehab or had or being discharged from the hospital, maybe they’ve had a fall, maybe they’ve had a stroke, but they can go home but they still need some sort of a healthcare application. One of the things that I remember as an adult daughter and in my first experiences was, as I kind of was just like rolling with the punches. I just did what they told me to do. I really didn’t understand the difference in anything and I didn’t take the time because I didn’t realize I had a choice. And what, boy, what what I opener that was, because there’s such a difference in the different types of quality of service for home health providers and would that I learned along the way. I also learned a lot about what my rights was as a family member, the fact that, you know, I had to be established as the power of attorney for the even the home here health care company to even talk to me because of the hippo laws and different things like that. So you guys really you know, in talking to families, what I’m really excited about is that if you’re not referred to carriage, you use a family have the right to ask for carriage home health at providing your in you know, their coverage area, and you know we have the right as families to ask for those types of services in those types of companies and oftentimes we’re not aware of that, that there is a choice right. Oftentimes in environments like a skilled nursing care where your mother was, or, let’s say, even the hospital, right there’s either social workers or Utilization Review nurses right that can guide families into resources. Oftentimes doctors in those environments make recommendations for Home Health. Perhaps it’s physical theory. be saying your mom’s not walking right. Well, she’s at risk of falling, you’re going to need home health. Social workers in those environments often will make the referrals now, when you feel like it’s out of your control, on what agencies to choose from. Sometimes they’re looking at what agencies are license in the county right to live and then who’s contracted with the insurance your loved one may have. So home health agencies not only are covered by Medicare, but we have private contracts with right private insurance companies. So sometimes they make those decisions without including you on choices, although there are many, especially here in King County, where there’s a number of hospitals and a number of home health agencies in which you can choose. And so they would give suggestions on who’s in network with your MOM’s provider. Correct. Correct. Yeah, so, you know, having the years of experience in a skilled nursing and hospital, I notice it boohoos a loved one to advocate for themselves and actually obtain home health and so it doesn’t harm somebody to have home health. It’s not a cost for a patient and family to have home health. Right if home health comes into the home and they determine a patient is not eligible or doesn’t meet the criteria for cover ridge, they would back out right and no longer and not charge for the services that they rendered, just for the assessment. So always advocate for asking for home help. Well, and I think that goes back to the conversation before you even come into the picture, is make sure that you, as a family member, are on board with proper care conferences and a part of the process of dish discharge planning. You know, have a voice, knowing that families have a voice, that this is what I choose for my parent, this is what’s important to me. Is Really, you know, it’s it’s wonderful when families are engaged. Often Times, the families that I work with, they don’t feel like they should be engaged or they kind of sit in the background, not wanting to make waves. And you know I’m the first one to say no, this is about you know, you are the advocate for your loved one and, as a result that being your loved one’s advocate, it you’re serving your loved one by saying, you know, it’s important for my mom to be at home and you know, yes, she’s having a hard time. You know, be the eyes and the ears sometimes that you know they your parent might need physical therapy. Even in a doctor’s visit, how often did I say, you know, my mom is not standing up and sitting down right. I see her, you know, being really weak on her on her leg, and the doctor’s going to queue into that and say, you know what, let’s order some physical therapy at in your mom’s home. It doesn’t mean and you know, a lot of the stuff can be preventative from further accidents in the future, and that’s the thing. I think that’s important for families to understand that there’s really with a doctor’s order, there’s a lot of things at home health can do for your parents. And it sounds like you’re quite educated in the healthcare arena and you’ve been an advocate for your own loved one and did your research. There’s so many people that don’t know to ask the right questions. They just don’t know, and so talking to others about your concerns, whether it’s yourself or your loved one, and then hopefully somebody might speak up and and tell you, give you some resources and advice on how to conquer the healthcare system right. You know, nowadays people are in and out of the hospital so rapidly that all of a sudden your home with a very vulnerable loved one who wasn’t eligible to go into a Rehab Center. You know, if I can do any takeaway, over and over again saying this to people, is asked for home health. Now home health is medical intervention, rehabilitative intervention, as we spoke about. That encompasses a nurse, physical therapy, occupational therapy, Ray, medical social worker, speech therapy and a home health aid. So all those skilled practitioners can come in some cases mental health. Mental health is under the medical social work. Oh okay, there you go. Yeah, discipline. So those different disciplines, professionals can come into the home. Each one of them have a different treatment plan for a patient. So oftentimes people will go home with physical therapy. And so we are talking to Chris Stamp Strand from Carrot Home Health and Chris tell us a little bit about the general area in which you cover right now. Just I know you’re expanding, but that’s the exciting part. But why don’t? What about today? So carriage home health was formerly Bessie Burton Sullivan in Seattle and ten years ago we changed to carriage home health and we serve King County. So we are Medicare covered and insurance contracted to provide services in King County. And Right now we just celebrated our tenth anniversary. That’s wonderful. That’s wonderful and I think you have plans to advance into Pierce County. From what I understand, we actually did obtain our Pierce County license and now our Thurston County license. That’s wonderful, and we’re waiting for Snohomish county next. Well, you know, I lives in Snohomish County. So that’s all the thing. He is right here, our neighbor. Yeah, yeah, well, and and so, Chris, obviously families have to be the eyes and the ears. I know. You know, if you’re taking care of a senior loved one, you’re going to pick up on little things like, you know, mom is not walk unlike she used to, or dad needs some help getting, you know, in and out. It may not be necessarily help with ADL’s activity of daily living, but maybe they had a fall. You know, they’re not bad enough to go into the hospital, but you know, maybe they had a bad sprain, maybe they’ve cut themselves very bad and they need some wound care something like that. If you go to a doctor, you know, a family goes to a doctor, the doctor is going to have a choice of how am I going to treat this patient, and one of the things that’s really important, I think that you, as families out there, need to understand, is is this is where home health can make a wonderful difference in the quality of life of a senior loved one and helping them to, you know, circumvent some permanent issues that maybe, for example, physical therapy can help them with their walking, with their gate understanding, occupational therapy, you know, are maybe had a stroke and you you’re not really with it and being able to mobilize, you know, a lot of the things that you’re normally doing, even something is simple, is getting in and out of a chair. Those are all things that professionals can come into the house on a temporary basis and help your senior loved one with so that you’d they don’t have the permitted issues that could create long term challenges in the future. Yes, I believe home health is often under utilize. People don’t know to ask for it. People, I think, believe they need to go to the hospital in order to have home health. People can just call their physician and and disclose I’m not walking very strong I’ve had a recent illness and ask their doctor for home health. So, Chris, how do we reach you? You can reach me by cell phone at any time. Four hundred and five, two thousand, six hundred and twenty, five, seven, three six, and your website is www.careagehealth.com and that’s careagehealth.com. Wonderful, Chris, thanks for being on the program thank you to say this has been a special presentation of answers for elders with Careage. For more information for carriage, go to Careage.com. That’s Careage.com.
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Originally published January 20, 2018
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