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Home Health Care Myths

Myth: My husband had surgery and needs to go to several follow-up doctor appointments. I thought in order to qualify for home health care, he wouldn’t be able to leave home.

Truth: Patients are allowed to leave home for medical reasons. However, in order to qualify for home care, leaving home should require a considerable or taxing effort and require the assistance of others or a supportive device like a cane, walker or wheelchair.  

Myth: I have a family reunion planned in two weeks and I am getting home health care therapy after a knee replacement. I didn’t think that I could leave home for any reason other than doctor appointments if I was receiving home health care services. I was upset at the thought of not seeing my family.

Truth: Occasional absences from the home for non-medical reasons, such as a trip to the barber or beauty shop, attendance at a family reunion, funeral or other infrequent event, does not disqualify a person from receiving home health care as long as the absences from home are infrequent and of a short duration.

Myth: After I started receiving home health care, I needed whirlpool therapy treatments which are only available at outpatient therapy centers. I wasn’t ready to stop home health care because I was making great progress towards being more independent at home. I didn’t think you could receive home health care and outpatient therapy at the same time, I thought I had to choose. 

Truth: Patients can receive home health care as well as outpatient services at the same time if the outpatient services are something that the home health care company cannot provide in the home setting. 

Myth: I am on hospice now for my heart problems, but tripped on a rug and broke my leg. Home health care therapy was recommended by my doctor after my leg healed. I didn’t think that I could have home health care and hospice at the same time. 

Truth: If the reason a patient needs home health care is not related to the hospice diagnosis or its related conditions, the patient may be eligible to have both services.

Myth: I was diagnosed with emphysema a few years ago, but didn’t think that I would ever qualify for home health care services because this is long-term chronic illness. I also didn’t realize how much I could benefit from the services home health care provides.

Truth: Chronically ill patients may experience periods when their condition worsens. This may require medication changes, treatment adjustments, symptom management and additional education that could indicate the need for home health care services. 

Myth: My husband suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and has periods of confusion. I thought if people were confused, they weren’t able to receive home health care. 

Truth: Home health care is available to help support patients and improve their functional ability. Education and training can be provided to caregivers and family members.

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