Continuing medical care at home often requires the assistance of home healthcare services offered by private clinics, private agencies, hospitals and governmental departments; the hire or purchase of medical equipment; and often some form of home care or domestic support.
In-home care is a good alternative for individuals who would otherwise have to stay in hospital for a long period of time, or have to be placed in a care home.
Studies have shown that patients recovering from illness, injury or surgical procedures heal more quickly and more successfully when recuperating in the comfort and privacy of their own home rather than a medical facility.
In Cayman, there are various options available, some outlined below, but it is always best to check with your doctor for options applicable to you.
The ability of private doctors to visit patients at home varies by the clinic and, if patients desire these services, they should check with their practitioners to see whether this is possible.
The General Practice Clinic of the Health Services Authority (HSA) offers at-home public health nurse check-ins and physician visits to patients in medical need such as the elderly, physically disabled and those unable to access transport. In some cases, HSA medical staff can assist with helping to arrange for home medical care through private agencies or individuals.
Individuals also have access to private agencies which source or provide home nursing care, such as Caring Hands Cayman. Companies like this, or the nurses they source, can provide pain management and medication administration and some offer medical transport accompaniment as well as other services.
For patients with certain medical conditions or illnesses, returning home to continue their healthcare is not always simply a matter of a change of location. They may still be in need of equipment that they would traditionally find in a hospital or clinic setting. Hospital beds, oxygen supplies, wheelchairs and other home convalescence aids can all make staying at home a possibility.
There are companies and organizations on-island which bridge this gap between hospital and at-home care, and provide rental or sale of medical equipment.
Pharmacies such as Cayman Pharmacy Group, Valu-med Pharmacy, Cayman Medical Supplies and Health Care Pharmacy sell or rent home medical aids, and the Cayman Islands Cancer Society also has a hospital equipment rental program for cancer patients receiving home care.
Physiotherapy and rehabilitation
Those recovering from surgery or suffering from certain health conditions and looking to improve mobility who are unable to visit hospitals or medical clinics, can receive physiotherapy and rehabilitation in their own homes.
The HSA’s physiotherapy department offers home therapy and occupational therapy to those who qualify, and companies such as Cayman Physiotherapy, Cayman Rehab Services and A Step Ahead Physiotherapy also offer at-home physiotherapy visits to those unable to get to their clinics.
While not strictly home healthcare, some organizations offer day breaks for those receiving home care.
The Pines Retirement Home has services which help seniors with the transition from hospital to home, or allow for short day-residential care. Its Day Care Programme, for those who live at home under their own or family care, supplies daytime support and care alongside social interaction at The Pines. Its Respite Care Programme allows short-term stays for individuals up to two weeks, allowing caregivers a break, or allowing for an easier return to independent living for those recently discharged from hospital.
Home care visits
Although home healthcare refers to care of a medical designation, home care refers to help with childcare, companionship and light household duties. Home healthcare covered by insurance is not intended to be a domestic service of this type.
Some home healthcare agencies also offer aspects of home care such as light domestic duties and running errands, but there are also agencies dedicated to supplying non-medical support, such as janitorial and childcare agencies and individuals, which could alleviate domestic pressures for patients and carers.
For those living with cancer, not-for-profit organization HospiceCare supports care in the home carried out by the family or the patient’s caregiver. Its Clinical Volunteer Program provides services of companionship, transportation and errands to those who are patients of HospiceCare, and other benefits include counseling services, music therapy, therapeutic massage and acupuncture, among many others offered by certified volunteers.
Caring Hands Cayman
Caring Hands Cayman provides in-home nursing services, allowing individuals with health issues to be cared for in the comfort and convenience of their own home.
It provides such medical services as medication management, wound care and blood work, and designs healthcare management plans for individuals with chronic conditions. Short-term, long-term and live-in assistance is available.
Caring Hands conducts a full assessment for each client, involving the patient’s medical team and loved ones, and assesses the home environment. Care plans are drawn up using “best practices” to deliver high-quality healthcare that promotes best outcomes.
Caregivers check in with patients regularly to ensure the plan is working and is being followed through.
These health checks, such as monitoring vital signs, can prevent individuals from being re-hospitalized. Home assessments ensure safety measures can be put in place to prevent injuries, including falls.
For insurance purposes, patients and their families should check with their insurance provider as to what extent of home healthcare and what categories of medical professionals are covered on their plans.
Basic Standard Health Insurance Contract (SHIC) plans do not cover home healthcare. However, comprehensive plans tend to be more far-reaching, covering a certain number of home visits per annum based on medical necessity and prescription by the attending MD.
Some plans also include visits by registered nurses for the purposes of medical procedures such as dressing changes and IV administration, or there may be a separate benefit for nursing visits.
It is always best to contact your insurance provider for information to check if a service is covered, how to qualify for such cover, and all other relevant details.