BALTIMORE — Jill Pelovitz depends on an army of in-home nurses to keep her teenage daughter alive.
Fourteen-year-old Nadiya suffers from a rare genetic disorder that causes life-threatening seizures, breathing problems and other complications. The teenager, who needs help with basic life skills such as dressing and walking, requires constant monitoring in case she has a seizure, especially at night when she is sleeping in their Severn, Md., home.
But finding nurses to assist families who have children with disabilities and other relatives at home can be difficult, largely because such nurses aren’t paid enough in Maryland or even as much as in neighboring states, according to the families and companies that place nurses. They are pushing to increase how much the nurses are reimbursed under Maryland’s Medicaid program, which covers most of the costs of at-home nursing care for those with disabilities.
They sound similar—but they provide very different services. Here’s an overview regarding the differences between the two:
What is Home Health Care?
Home health care is a wide range of health care services that can be given in your home for an illness or injury. Home health care is usually less expensive, more convenient, and just as effective as care you get in a hospital or skilled nursing facility (SNF). Usually, the person providing care can only provide what’s been prescribed by a doctor.
These types of services include occupational therapy; wound care; pain management; IV therapy and injections; or mobility training for those who have had their mobility impaired.
More seniors are getting help from family, friends and hired helpers to keep them in their homes, despite disabilities that keep them from total independence, a new study finds.
But that increase isn’t happening evenly across all groups. And the rising demand may have implications for the lives and careers of caregivers, and for policies that aim to support at-home caregivers.
In the new issue of JAMA, a University of Michigan Medical School team reports that 50 percent of disabled seniors had some form of in-home help in 2012. That’s up nearly 20 percent, or 8 percentage points, since the start of the study in 1998.
The sharpest rise was among those who had milder disabilities — suggesting that these seniors may have been trying to avoid entering a nursing home and instead “age in place.”