Recovering at Home and in Hospice Care

KikuPal had the pleasure of speaking with and interviewing the Executive Director of Kindred at Home, Barbara Goodson, LVN who has 23 years of experience in the home health and hospice spaces. She shared with us her expertise and insights on recovering at home and in hospice care.

Kindred at Home helps those recovering from illness, injury or surgery, with their highly skilled medical team of caregivers creating a safe, supportive, and professional environment in a patient’s home. They pledge to maintain the highest quality standards in their delivery of home health care.

What is Home Health? Is There a Difference between Home Health and Home Care?

In our short Home Health and Home Care video with Barbara, she explains what home health is and what the difference between home health and home care are. Home health offers skilled services ordered by a physician to patients who are for the most part home bound. Services are performed by a registered nurse who comes into the home, whether it be teaching on disease processes or medication, doing wound care, changing a foley catheter, or IV care, etc., these are all examples of skilled services provided for home health. Nurses can also provide physical, occupational, and speech therapy and social work all in the home.

Home care services typically refers to a private duty type of service that can include nursing, but more often is an attended type of service where someone is coming in and helping with bathing and personal hygiene, running errands, changing bed linens, etc. It is common for someone to need home heath and home care services, especially a senior recovering from a hospitalization.

Key Aspects of Home Health

“The biggest thing when it comes to home health is understanding what your insurance allows for” Barbara says. Traditional Medicare offers services reimbursed at 100%, so for those covered by Medicare, there is no charge to the patient. Many other replacement plans for Medicare are Medicare Advantage plans which all pay differently thus requiring copays responsible by the patient. Some plans also have limited number of visits. Barbara goes on to say that Kindred at Home pays close attention to the total number of visits allowed annually for a patient, making sure they save enough days for something else that may come up later that year.

Hospice is a Gift

Normally a person who qualifies for hospice is certified as being terminally ill by a physician and having a prognosis of 6 months or less if the disease runs its normal course. However, this does not mean the person has to pass away… Sometimes people actually get better while on hospice and make a full recovery, graduating from the hospice program. Kindred at Home and Kindred Hospice work closely together because they often transition patients from hospice back to home health and vice versa.

Many people have a negative connotation about hospice, referring to it as a resource for the dying, but it also can be used as a tool to prolong life. Barbara says she and Kindred at Home regard hospice as a gift not only for patients, but for their families as well. Hospice services offer so much support for the patient and their families ranging from counselors, chaplains, social workers, and volunteers that come in and spend time with the patients thus improving the quality of life for those on hospice care. This support often boosts the spirits of not only the patients, but their families and loved ones as well. Barbara says that one of the biggest fears patients have is that once they accept hospice care, that they have to just lay in a hospital bed and wait… But it’s not about that.

Hospice care is about prolonging and extending the quality of life.

If you have someone in mind that is receiving home health, home care, or hospice services, that you want to help, please keep KikuPal in mind as a resource to help them. KikuPal provides tailored, vetted, and individual solutions to help you and your family feel supported, establish new routines, access knowledge-based resources, and schedule needed services so you or they can spend more time with loved ones and more time healing.