The Visiting Nurses Association has been a boon to seniors who wish to remain living in their own home as long as possible while addressing the healthcare issues which impact their physical or cognitive abilities. Most people would rather receive medical care at home than in a hospital or nursing home, but in-home care is often the better choice for other reasons.
Recovery time following surgery or injury may be shortened and there may be fewer trips back to the hospital. The benefits to family caregivers include the peace of mind that their loved one is being taken care of. The fact is that there’s an increasing number of seniors who want and need home care today and there is more focus on the role that it plays in the healthcare system.
The VNA is private-duty home care, offering help for a few to up to 24 hours a day. It helps people of all ages, including older adults, with temporary needs, impaired eyesight or hearing, memory loss, difficulty bathing and dressing, and those with chronic illnesses and conditions. The VNA also helps family caregivers with the support they need by relieving them of certain responsibilities, so they can spend more quality time with loved ones.
The VNA trains its caregivers, all of whom are bonded and insured. Their interdisciplinary team of dedicated and licensed professionals is committed to optimizing the quality of life for all patients by providing nursing and rehabilitation services from physical, occupational, and speech therapists. A good, stable relationship between client and caregiver is key to the success of in-home services, so the effort is taken to match the best caregiver with each client, and to keep the same caregiver with a client.
A visiting nurse must have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree and must pass national registered nurse licensing exams. Many visiting nurses pursue continuing education to improve their credentials and career advancement. A nurse practitioner degree allows a nurse to provide a wider range of services that may include writing prescriptions and making new diagnoses. Other professionals providing services are also licensed in their areas of expertise.
The VNA begins with an initial visit with the client and family members. Patient care needs are discussed, and an individualized care plan is then created. A range of services are included that may feature household help, such as light housekeeping, laundry, transportation, and shopping. Personal care assistance, that includes bathing, dressing, personal needs, and even meal preparation, may be added to the plan. Geriatric Care Management with monitoring of blood pressure, medication reminders, and more is included. When catheters, and perform other evaluating a client, the nurse may take vital signs, dress wounds or bed sores, or change medical services. A schedule of visits will then be established based on each person’s needs.
Visits are carefully documented to monitor progress and medication regimens. The goal for VNA nurses and other professionals working with them is to improve or restore independence for patients, allowing them to remain living safely in their own house, apartment, assisted living residence or any other home setting.
VNA can also establish hospice services that focus on enhancing life and providing compassionate care for people entering the last stages of life. The goal of hospice care is to enable individuals to continue to live without pain and unpleasant symptoms. It brings comfort and dignity by concentrating on achieving the best quality of life possible. A team of trained professionals and volunteers address the physical, emotional, psychological, social, and spiritual needs of patients while offering family members the support and assistance they need.
Payment for VNA Services
VNA professionals discuss financial options available with each patient and their family. Medicare and supplemental or long-term health insurance are most typically available. For some, the cost of care is funded by personal savings and income or home equity. For others, financial aid may be available through state Medicaid programs, or the Veterans Administration.
A physician’s order for VNA services is not required. There is no pre-authorization or pre-qualification needed. A call to the Visiting Nurses Association can get the process started with the initial consultation to determine the appropriate level of care.
All client information is kept strictly confidential. Only those VNA professionals directly involved with caregiving have access to information. All federal and state guidelines relevant to the privacy of personal and healthcare information are followed.
VNA in-home health care services may be the solution for those who wish to stay safely in their own homes and maintain a degree of independence while receiving the care they need.
In addition to housing, skilled nursing, rehabilitation services, and adult day care, SALMON Health and Retirement offers homecare options through SALMON VNA and Hospice and SALMON Private Care Options. To learn more about the options available to you and your loved ones, contact us today by calling 800-446-8060 for more information.