Home care might become more of a trend in health care, according to Jaynette Miller, APRN at St. Luke Medical Center in Marion.
“I think home care will be looked at more frequently,” Miller said. “It just appears to be necessary with the associated cost of some care facilities.”
Miller said she recommends and refers patients to Marion County Home Care when they do not require inpatient care but still need occupational or physical therapy, or speech pathology or nursing services.
“People usually do better with recovery when they are able to go back home,” Miller said. “Of course the family needs to be understanding and supportive of what the patient needs to do.”
Marion County Home Health Care is the only in-county option for home care, she said.
“They assist families and patients with what they need to do to recover at home,” Miller said. “They do an excellent job. They are very accurate, and they keep us posted on everything.”
Gayla Ratzlaff of the county department on aging said Angles Care Home Health, Home Health and Hospice of Dickinson County, and Newton Medical Center Home Health Agency are out-of-county options.
“They are listed as licensed home care providers who service Marion County,” she said. “But it’s a little iffy on how far some will come into the county.”
She said some organizations do not pay employees’ on-the-job mileage anymore. Another told her they only provide home care to county residents if their company has an employee who lives in county.
Peni Ens, director of Marion County Home Care, said home care is covered by Medicare and sometimes Medicaid covers it, too.
“We can’t provide home care without a physician’s order,” Ens said. “It’s not just for the elderly.”
She noted knee replacement therapy as a common example of a patient who might qualify for home care. People who fall into a “homebound status” also qualify for home care, she said.
“Medicare says you have homebound to be approved for payment of homecare, Ens said. “If it is a taxing effort for them to get out of the house safely then it can be a homebound status.”
She said excessive pain is another issue that can qualify a person as homebound.
“Physical therapy is a great home care option instead of narcotics,” Ens said. “Narcotics can have a lot of side effects
Marion County Home Care also has a mini care agency that is private pay option for people who need extra care and prefer the option to a nursing home or care center. Certified home health aides provide bathing and personal care services. A homemaker service is available, too.
Two kinds of medical alert systems also are offered; one is a necklace or bracelet system connected to a landline, Ens said, while the other has a speaker unit, GPS, and a fall alert incorporated into a design.
More information on Marion County Home Care is available by calling (620) 382-3690.