The considerable rise in home healthcare services is certainly one of the best things to happen to the aging population, well known as the Baby Boomers. When you consider this generation is an independent and hearty one, staying in their own home for as long as possible means home healthcare. Studies already prove that patients have better recovery rates at home.
There are challenges, though. Family caregivers generally report an underconfidence in feeling skilled enough to care for a family member who is recovering from a surgical procedure. Having home healthcare there to assist and keep an eye out for any changes is key to in-home care success even when the visiting nurse is done.
Home healthcare workers know they do remarkably more for their clients than just personal care. Home healthcare workers are a trusted member of the care team, and an integral part of a senior client’s well being and sense of security in their own homes. Proper care means compassionate care. Home healthcare workers are proud of the way they instill well-being into the lives of the people they serve every day. Who wouldn’t want that for their senior family member?
Senior Behavioral Health Issues Means Better Home Health Care
Some of the closest ones to a senior are the ones that notice behavioral health issues first. It helps if that someone is not a family member as well. It is often the home healthcare worker who sees when Mom seems a little “off” today or appears to be more confused lately. It is in these moments, recognizing symptoms and behavior pattern changes that early interventions can be done.
The earlier a client with behavioral health decline receives medical intervention, the better. For the astute home healthcare worker who knows their clients well, communicating changes and allowing others to seek proper care is pivotal in the long-term health of the client. Too many seniors have suffered needlessly because interventions lagged. No one wants to admit their Mom or Dad are not in the state of mind they used to be, but what is the alternative?
The future of home healthcare may look like the addition of behavioral health services. Will home healthcare look like behavioral health care in the future? Only time will tell, but it would undoubtedly benefit the client to meet them on the road between independence in their homes and living at a memory care center.
The first line of defense is letting the right medical professionals know when more needs to be done. How do you do that effectively when home healthcare agencies, social workers, and medical teams all work for different organizations?
What Home Healthcare Can Do For Better Behavioral Health
Proper communication is critical in any care situation. There are a lot of things to be aware of and make a note of when you are caring for someone professionally. It might be easy to let things slide by or think, “I will get to this later.” But it’s the little things that build up over time to cause bigger problems:
- Mary needed a lot more direction with dressing today.
- I don’t think Bob has eaten much the last two days.
- Jane has bruises on her body she can’t account for.
- Martha forgot where she was yesterday.
- Betty has been crying all week and can’t tell me why.
- Joe keeps calling me his son’s name.
These are all examples of early indications of behavioral health decline in seniors that tend to be dismissed or put off as a “wait and see what tomorrow brings” scenario. There is no harm in letting someone know about what made today different in caring for a patient.
Communication with superiors and the client’s family members may take more than a passing mention or a note on a form that simply gets filed in a folder to be barely read. If home healthcare workers are going to assist their clients better, more will need to be done for early intervention. The hero that saves the day in a client’s life could be the one who shows up to get them dressed every morning. We can never underestimate the value of home healthcare workers.
How can we get the necessary care team members to the table to discuss a client’s behavioral health decline and decide what to do next? eCare Vault is the first cloud-based communication platform of its kind to provide a 24-hour, mobile way for home healthcare workers to be able to communicate changes as they happen actively. The right information on time and in the right hands. That’s what eCare Vault can do for your home healthcare agency. If you’d like to know how you can do better serving your senior clients, contact us today.