You’re planning the care your mom needs after her brain cancer diagnosis. She needs surgery and will have an incision in her skull. After that, she will need weeks of physical therapy. She’s going to need someone to help her out with meals, transportation, personal care, grooming, housekeeping, and laundry.
After her surgery, she may need chemo and radiation. She’ll be taking medications for pain. There’s so much she’ll need help with, and you don’t live close enough to help. The options are home care and home health care, and you’re not sure how they differ.
Home health care and home care services are very different. The best care plan for your mom will likely include a mix of both of them to ensure her recovery goes perfectly.
What Services Are Included With Home Health Care
Home health care services address your mom’s medical needs. She had surgery. The incision in her head needs to be kept clean and covered to prevent infection. A skilled nurse can come to her home and care for that wound.
Your mom’s surgical team may want her vitals to be monitored as a preventative measure. Have nurses stop by to take her blood pressure, pulse, and oxygen saturation levels every day. Tracking these vitals helps doctors and surgeons know if your mom is having any health issues after her surgery.
Is your mom experiencing a lot of pain after her surgery? Pain management is something home health care nurses can help with. Whether it’s monitoring and administering oral pain meds or IV meds, skilled nurses are ready to assist her and ensure her pain is well managed.
What Home Health Care Cannot Help Your Mom With
Home health care nurses do not help with normal household chores and personal care. If your mom needs someone to help her brush her teeth or take a shower, a nurse isn’t the right choice. Your mom’s care needs expand into home care services.
With home care, your mom has an aide to help her with meal preparation and kitchen clean-up. The caregiver can vacuum carpets, dust surfaces, and make sure sinks and counters are wiped and sterile.
Hire caregivers to do the laundry, swap towels as needed, and change your mom’s sheets. When the dirty laundry is washed and dried, her caregiver can put things where they go.
Your mom can’t drive until it’s medically cleared. A caregiver can drive her to follow-up appointments, a home health care nurse cannot. Your mom’s caregiver can take her shopping and accompany her around the store, too.
As you learn more from your mom’s surgical team about her post-surgery needs, create a list of services. You’ll need this for guidance when you call a home health care specialist to arrange the care she needs.