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  • Home Care ·

Home Health Care Can Help Seniors With Loneliness and Social Isolation

By: Elizabeth Townsend, RN People are social beings. With COVID-19 introducing social distancing guidelines and restrictions on visitations, social isolation and loneliness are increasing. A report referenced by JAMA discussed the need for solutions for social isolation and loneliness in older adults. There is significant documentation that social isolation and loneliness are related to a higher rate of major mental and physical illnesses, including: Cardiovascular and cerebrovascular risks More depression and anxiety An increased risk of dementia According to the National Institute on Aging, people who participate in worthwhile activities with others tend to live longer and have a sense…
  • Home Care ·

Sepsis Awareness Month: Why Our Program Actually Works

By: Portia Wofford Home health clinicians play an essential role in caring for patients who are: At risk of developing sepsis Recovering from sepsis or septic shock Home health providers are vital in preventing hospital admissions and readmission among sepsis patients. According to the CDC, sepsis is the body’s extreme response to an infection. It is a potentially life-threatening medical emergency. Many patients receiving home healthcare services have chronic medical conditions and comorbidities that put them at risk for infection, including COVID-19 and sepsis. According to the Global Sepsis Alliance, COVID-19 can cause sepsis. Research suggests that COVID-19 may lead…
  • Home Care ·

COVID-19 & Home Health

Pandemic Relief via legislation, CMS waivers, and enforcement discretion Telehealth Waived requirement to use volunteers Face to Face encounters to establish HH services Non-physician practitioners (NNP) certification authority accelerated Telehealth and Telephonic Visits CMS permits HHAs to provide all necessary telehealth during the emergency period Must be physician-ordered and on the plan of care Does not replace in-person visits (telehealth or telephonic visits are not billable visits) Allows for HHA to supplement in person visits for patients who might refuse more frequent visits or senior living or other congregate living facilities that might be restricting access to HHA personnel. The…
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  • Home Care ·

Life-Limiting Illnesses – When to Call Hospice

A life-limiting illness is an incurable chronic disease or condition that no longer respond to curative treatments. Examples of a life-limiting illness include: Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia Stroke ALS Parkinson’s Disease Heart Disease Pulmonary Disease Liver Disease End-stage Renal Disease AIDS Cancer A life limiting illness, coupled with symptoms below, could be indicators of decline and hospice eligibility: Frequent hospitalizations, ER visits, or visits to the physician within the last six months Progressive weight loss (with consideration to weight gain factors such as edema, when applicable) Decreasing appetite Dysphagia or difficulty swallowing Increased weakness or fatigue Decline in cognitive status…