A representative of the Saginaw branch of AdvisaCare just announced the addition of speech and behavioral health therapy to their local home health care services. Among the ten employees hired recently, including branch director, Peggy Fritz RN, a speech pathologist and a nurse certified in behavioral health will soon be working with patients requiring behavioral health/speech services. “These are exciting additions because we will be able to help homebound patients who could really benefit from these services.” says Fritz.
In their research of the needs of the Tri-City area, Peggy and the outreach team discovered a gap in behavioral health services. “There are not many nurses (certified in behavioral health) working in home health, or many home health agencies in this area that provide these services.” Quickly the team stepped in to help and made sure that the services would be available to all private pay and homebound Medicare patients. Behavioral health and speech therapy as well as select home health services are also covered by most health insurances.
What does this mean for the Tri-City area? Families with loved ones needing behavioral health and speech services will now have more options available to them. They will not have to worry about the safety and security of their homebound loved one because they can now receive care in the privacy of their own home, under the care of an MD or Psychiatrist.
Why is speech and cognitive therapy important?
Peggy- “Speech therapy is a part of recovery programs for many illnesses and may be used to help manage conditions that affect speech, language, eating or swallowing. For many adults, a medical issue such as stroke or the onset of conditions like Parkinson’s Disease or Multiple Sclerosis can affect motor skills necessary for communication. Brain injury and accidents that cause damage to the throat, jaw, or facial structure can also impair speaking ability. People may require adult speech therapy due to mental difficulties which affect comprehension of language or the ability to speak intelligibly. Communication is essential to independence and such therapy helps people gain greater control over speaking and language skills.”
Why is psych therapy important?
Peggy- “If we approach the care of a patient with a mental illness from a holistic perspective, within his/her chosen environment, we will be successful in preventing frequent hospitalizations, thereby, making psychiatric home health care the most cost-effective treatment available for this patient population. Research has shown that each time a psychiatric patient is hospitalized, the overall impact on the lifetime management of his/her disease is compounded in a negative way, affecting the ability to obtain and maintain a stable, independent and desirable quality of life.”
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