Home Health Care

At Action Products, where we take great pride in our ongoing role in geriatric nursing products, we are devoting this blog series to geriatric home healthcare.

Geriatric home health care, designed to help older adults live independently for as long as possible, even with an illness or injury, may include any or all of the following:

  • occupational therapy
  • physical therapy
  • speech therapy
  • skilled nursing
  • help with activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, transferring, toileting, taking medications, feeding)

There’s a difference between home health care and home care services, the eldercare.acl.gov fact sheet explains. Home health care is medical in nature, and home health care professionals are typically licensed practical nurses, therapists, or home health aides, employed by agencies, hospitals, or public health departments. Home health care is indicated when patients need monitoring and/or dressing changes after a hospital discharge. Particularly for the elderly, the Merck Manual explains, home health care may also be indicated in cases where medically complex care is needed or where acute or chronic problems exist.

There are several types of nurses working in the field of geriatrics. Some specialize in clinical or mental health, while others are generalists, Geriatric Nursing.org explains. Whatever the choice, there is critical need. As life expectancy continues to rise, geriatric nursing is becoming more important than ever. There are 41 U.S. colleges and universities offering nursing programs specifically focused on geriatrics and geriatric nursing. The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) offers three main categories of certification for geriatric nurses:

  1. Gerontological Nurse Specialist
  2. Clinical Nurse Specialist in Gerontological Nursing
  3. Gerontological Nurse Practitioner

By the year 2030, AACN reports, older adults will represent not only half of all hospital stays and nearly two-thirds of all ambulatory adult primary care visits, but almost three-quarters of all home care visits. Many of these older people have health conditions that do not require hospitalization, but must be treated with medication, changes in diet, use of special equipment (such as a blood sugar monitor or walker), daily exercises or other adaptations, ExploreHealthCareers.org explains. Geriatric nurses help design and explain these healthcare regimens to patients and their families, sometimes functioning as “case managers”. Caroline Stephens (researcher on the faculty of the UCSF School of Nursing) believes nurses are ideally positioned to take the lead on geriatric care management because “we have a holistic approach versus a disease-oriented approach”.

With skin care is at the very foundation of such a holistic approach to geriatric healthcare, we’re proud that Action Products has been at the forefront of the pressure injury prevention initiative since its inception. Our company’s home health care products include wheelchair cushions, adaptive pads, and mattress overlays, all designed to preserve skin integrity for patients receiving geriatric care at home.