Health Check: Home Health Care

When we have a bad cold or the flu doctors want us to stay home to get better. Turns out - that could also work for other ailments. That's why doctors at the Fremont Area Medical Center are prescribing home health care for some patients. In this month's Health Check report - Serese Cole take a closer look at the health care option and the benefits.

Barbara Coke has gotten to know this chair very well. It help keeps her off her feet - something she's tried to do after taking a terrible tumble in December.

"I broke both bones in my leg," said Coke.

Barbara's prescription - home health care. So instead of trying to get out in the winter weather for rehab - medical help comes to her. Melissa Carlson is Barbara's occupational therapist and says home health care means a doctor, nurse and therapists all work together.

"How we can make a person safe, be able to remain in their home and heal and still accomplish what they can accomplish with their daily activities, " said Carlson.

Serese Cole, "The first order of business for Barbara's physical therapist was making sure she had a ramp to get in and out of the house safely."

Back inside, Melissa makes sure Barbara can get around the house with her walker - and that equipment like her lift and wheel chair work properly. She also helps her with more personal challenges - like how to wash her hair.

"She knew right away that's what I'd want to do immediately and helped me figure out - she even tried it for me before I tried it," said Coke.

"I look forward to them coming - having somebody to talk to," Coke admitted.

Research shows there are other benefits. Patients heal more quickly and successfully when recovering at home. They're also less likely to be re-admitted to the hospital - and it's cheaper.

For Barbara it also means keeping her independence.

"If not I'd probably be in a care center - rehab center," said Coke.

She's happily healing at home - instead.

Home health care has to be prescribed by a doctor. It includes nurse visits and visits from an occupational, physical and speech therapist if needed. Barbara's home health care is working - she hopes to be out of her cast at the end of the month.

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