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Receiving medical care at home

It has often been said there’s no place like home, and that is equally true when recovering from an illness, injury or surgery or coping with a chronic or terminal illness. Yet the extent of medical and therapy services that can be provided in a home though Home Health is often not well understood.

How much do you know about Home Health?

Test your knowledge with this brief quiz. True or false:

  • You do not have to live in your own house to get Home Health services.
  • Medicare, Medicaid and most insurance plans pay for Home Health.
  • You can get Home Health services even in small towns and rural areas.

Answer: All of the above are true.

Patients in the Walla Walla-based Providence St. Mary Home Health program usually are recovering from an illness, injury or surgery, or are dealing with a chronic or terminal disease. The services can start at any point that medical supervision is needed, such as after a hospital or convalescent center stay. “Home” doesn’t necessarily mean they have to live in their own homes. Providence St. Mary Home Health sees patients in adult care homes and assisted living facilities as well.

Watch a Video

Meet a few of our Home Health caregivers and one of their patients.

Home health services are ordered by a physician. If you believe a family member would benefit from home health care, please discuss it with the person’s primary care provider. Providers generally will request home care for patients who need skilled care on a periodic basis, and for whom leaving the house would be difficult or taxing. It isn’t intended to be round-the-clock care or to provide services like housekeeping, meals or transportation. To qualify, patients must have support at home to meet their basic needs between visits.

The Home Health team works under the direction of a physician, and includes nurses, a physical therapist, social worker, occupational therapist, speech therapist and home health aide, depending on the needs of the individual.

The Providence St. Mary team is based in Walla Walla, but ranges widely throughout Walla Walla and Columbia Counties, as well as into some parts of Umatilla County. In 2013, they logged more than 110,000 miles taking care of people in their homes.

For more information, call 509-522-5710.

Categories: Aging Well
Topics: Walla Walla


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