Home Health Care & Lifestyle Illnesses Management

Introduction and Teaching Plan

Due to its development, home health care has attracted a lot of research where medical professionals are assessing its appropriateness mostly in terms of safety and efficiency. Its development has also attracted the need to teach other medical experts such as nurses on how to administer home health care and educate patients on how they can maximize the opportunity which saves them time and resources (Robyn et al., 2008). A brief plan that can be used for teaching should generally include:

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  1. What are home health care and its benefits;
  2. The best age of patients who can access home health care;
  3. Safety concerns for both the patient and the healthcare provider.

Patient Issue

The main patient’s problem can be addressed through home health care services in the management of lifestyle illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure. These diseases require frequent monitoring and medication to ensure that the patient’s condition is under control. This makes home health care appropriate since it saves a lot of time for the patient especially if they are at work (Suarez, Agbonifo, Hittle, Davis, & Freeman, 2017). It also helps old patients especially those above the age of sixty who are not able to travel to health centers or live-in facilities for the elderly. Home visits of the health care provider help them identify various risk factors that may limit the patient’s recovery or improvement in case of these diseases.

Safety: Risk Factors and Human Factors

Home health care is associated with some risk factors that can negatively influence patient outcomes. Thus, there is a risk of hospital readmission among home health care patients (Ma, Shang, Miner, Lennox, & Squires, 2017). One of the reasons for this fact is that 69% of home health care patients are older adults (aged 65 and more), who develop multiple chronic comorbid conditions in addition to a primary diagnosis.

Moreover, the rate of readmission depends on reasons for home health care. Thus, the highest readmission rate of 26% was recorded for patients with heart failure while among general home care patients this rate was 6.5% (Ma et al., 2017, p. 86). Also, the type of home health care is meaningful. For example, among heart failure patients who returned to a hospital, 57% utilized tele-homecare.

Another significant risk factor for patients receiving home health care is environmental. Although a familiar environment is more comfortable for many patients, it contains hazards that are not typical of hospital settings. Some of the hazards are irritating chemicals and pollutants, cigarette smoke, and violence in the home or neighborhood. These factors lead to various health conditions, hence adding to the already existing problem making it hard for the patient to recover (Robyn et al., 2008). Exposure to some chemicals is harmful as it may lead to the worsening of lifestyle diseases and even result in death. Violence in the home and neighborhood may also lead to the development of stress which may increase high blood pressure and worsen other diseases.

The home may also pose other human and basic safety threats that may slow down the recovery process of the patient and also endanger the life or health of the health practitioner (Robyn et al., 2008). This may include unhygienic conditions due to the lack of appropriate cleaning and the presence of cockroaches and vermin. Moreover, aggressive dogs and cats or family members who may harm the health care provider with weapons such as guns and other sharp tools pose a threat.

To prevent these risk factors, it is necessary not only to follow general hygiene rules about cleaning the house but consider the needs of the patient. Thus, to prevent the risk of readmission, it is important to provide timely care according to the prescription. Moreover, care should be provided by a healthcare professional. In case a caregiver is a family member, he or she should be trained to meet the demands of home care. Finally, it is necessary to eliminate environmental hazards to provide the patient with a safe and comfortable environment.

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Safety Principles and Importance

The healthcare practitioner may advise the patient on various improvements that they can use to make their home a better and safer place and facilitate their recovery process. However, there are various ways in which healthcare providers can help the patient to avoid stress such as not getting involved in conflicts and living a less expensive life to evade economic struggles. They can also provide the patient with various recommendations about the best chemicals for cleaning the home to ensure high hygienic conditions. Lifestyle illness patients should also engage in vigorous exercises which help in the control of their weight and blood pressure (Suarez et al., 2017).

According to the facilities at the patient’s home and their economic condition, the health care provider can advise and demonstrate the best exercises. This also applies to the diet, where the patient is required to take various foods, especially fruits and vegetables, which help to control blood sugar, and therefore, prevent obesity that may worsen their condition.

References

Ma, C., Shang, J., Miner, S., Lennox, L., & Squires, A. (2017). The prevalence, reasons, and risk factors for hospital readmissions among home health care patients: A systematic review. Home Health Care Management & Practice, 30(2), 83-92. Web.

Robyn, R. G., Monika, P. M., Kristine, A. Q., Patricia, W. S., Allison, N. C., Stephanie, M. S.,… Martin, S. P. (2008). Home health care patients and safety hazards in the home: Preliminary findings. Advances in patient safety: New directions and alternative approaches, (Vol 1: Assessment). Web.

Suarez, R., Agbonifo, N., Hittle, B., Davis, K., & Freeman, A. (2017). Frequency and risk of occupational health and safety hazards for home healthcare workers. Home Health Care Management and Practice, 29(4), 207-215. Web.

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