A post-acute nurse sits with a patient in her home going over her treatment

4 In-Home Health Risk Factors to Consider for Post-Acute Patients

It’s never an easy job being the caregiver of a patient even at an in-home setting. Patients rely on caregivers to provide a safe, healthy environment to ensure optimal daily regimens can continue, like exercises, treatments, and overall daily necessities. That is why several risk factors must be considered that safeguard post-acute patients, and caregivers, during home health care stays. 

Basic Home Safety Set-up

A person’s home should be a place where they feel safe and secure. Caregivers must provide peace of mind so patients don’t have to worry about fire or health and safety hazards. In conjunction with Federal government programs, home care providers perform periodic on-site inspections to ensure proper safety procedures are in place. The role of home care providers is to assist patients by providing them with the correct education and instruction in fire prevention and setting up a fire plan. The plan should involve safety procedures and establish efficient ways to maintain, store, and clean to lower the risk of a fire.

Home care organizations will also provide the family or caregiver instruction in patient safety. This instruction includes education on fall prevention, correct lifting and moving techniques, and proper use of medication and how to store it.  During these assessments, each room will also be evaluated to ensure optimal efficiency. The home must be clean and free of excess clutter that will affect the patient’s mobility and other hazardous situations. 

Hazardous Materials and Medical Waste

It is extremely important for caregivers to be weary of any chemicals or other hazardous materials that are discarded in the home. If you are a healthcare professional, you should be able to obtain safety data sheets from your agency to provide information on the chemicals and how to properly dispose of it. 

It is an important role to play for home health caregivers to ensure a home free from hazardous materials for post-acute patients. There is proper management of medical waste including identifying waste items, following regulated disposal procedures such as requiring the use of personal protective equipment. Medical waste is a very common issue for in-home patients. This waste pertains to objects that are potentially contaminated due to blood, body fluids, and other materials that can cause infection. It is important to wear gloves when discarding this waste.

Issues Involving the Patient and Their Family

Just like the post-acute patients themselves, the family must be able to understand the home health procedures. They will need training on all of the in-home medical procedures and must be able to use the equipment and supplies. For the post-acute patient to get the best quality care they can, family members must be competent and willing to assist their loved one.

Natural Disasters

Most home care providers and agencies will have an inclement weather plan that is designed to ensure patient’s safety from harsh conditions. The goal of these plans is to make sure each patient receives the care they need in the event of a natural disaster.  It is also important to note that as a caregiver, your employer must provide safe working conditions. An inclement weather policy should also state that they will ensure the safety of their employees.

Contact South Coast Post Acute

As one of southern California’s top post-acute facilities, we strive to provide excellent care to all out patients. If in-home post-acute care is not an option for you, the professional staff at South Coast Post Acute is here to help you get your well and back home quickly. Our commitment and spirit of caring makes South Coast Post Acute the recovery center of choice for patients, providers, and caregivers. Contact us today to learn how we can help you!

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