The term Continuum of Care is frequently heard in healthcare settings. It refers to the varying levels of care a person might need all the way from living independently to in-hospital care, a rehabilitation center, long term care or long-term memory care with all of the stages of recovery or maintenance included. The continuum can be seen as a ladder with each of these settings seen as a step on the ladder.
The person living independently who wants to stay in their own home is the first rung of this ladder. Being able to stay in our own home, living as independently as possible, is the preferred outcome for many of us. Yet some people may need help with a few tasks to be able to continue that independence. A personal care assistant or certified nursing assistant coming in for just a few hours a week may make all the difference in that being possible.
If you or a loved one is sidelined by an illness or injury that requires hospitalization, you require an entirely different level of care. This is the second step on the ladder. Initially, a person recovering from serious surgery or an accident may need intense care such as help in breathing, feeding and toileting in a critical care unit of the hospital. You might decide to supplement that hospital care with your own aide providing additional support. Sometimes the presence of an additional caretaker in the hospital setting can help relieve the burden on the family and increase the quality of care your loved one or you will receive.
A third setting is the rehabilitation unit of the hospital or a separate rehabilitation facility. Here, a more active phase of recovery begins with physical, occupational, speech or other therapies. Physical therapy can be provided to help get patients back to walking or transiting from bed to wheelchair or walker. Occupational therapy may be needed to help them relearn steps in feeding or dressing themselves and many other critical tasks. Speech therapy is frequently needed after stroke. These activities can be supplemented by additional help from an aide who can help the patient practice skills being taught by therapists. Hopefully, the patient is then able to be discharged to the home.
The goal for most is a return to the first step in the ladder, that is the patient’s home. Here may be where your loved one needs the most support. The home health aides provide a critical assist in the home setting to help the patient stay as healthy as possible and to be able to remain home and avoid further hospital stays.
Therapies begun in the rehab setting can be continued in the home. Working with a home care provider who can coordinate all of the therapies needed in home (including visits from the physical and occupational therapists) makes life easier as you then have one central point of contact coordinating all your care.
These steps in the recovery process can lead to full recovery and hopefully, the person’s ability to regain their former life. But if return to home is not possible, another step of the ladder might be long-term care or long-term memory care. Once again, home health aides again can supplement overworked staff to provide one on one care for your loved one.
With help from a company like Care Advantage, each of these stages in the continuum can be handled with a consistency of support and care so that momentum in the recovery or maintenance process can continue unimpeded. At every stage of the continuum of care, Care advantage, an award-winning home healthcare company, can help guide you and your family members to the best possible outcomes. Care Advantage may make the difference in how fully recovery takes place, giving you the peace of mind that comes when you know your loved one is being cared for and that is priceless.