By Alanna Berman
For more than four decades, Western Health Homecare has been providing San Diegans with quality in-home medical care. More specifically, Western Health has offered clients skilled nursing and private duty services performed by people who have been thoroughly vetted in customer service and healthcare skills.
“It’s different when you go into a doctor’s office, because in a sense, you enter their domain, says home health coordinator Melissa Sobelman of the difference between traditional healthcare and home healthcare. “[Healthcare providers] can act a certain way because it’s their office. However, when a healthcare professional goes into someone’s house, they need to respect that person’s home first and foremost. I think there is a level of tolerance they need to exude, because they are seeing people in their most vulnerable state in their own home.”
Patients come to Western Health in search of skilled nursing professionals, for example, if they need physical therapy, occupational therapy or medical attention at home following surgery. Western Health also works with stroke victims on speech therapy and offers pediatric in-home care. The necessary skills to treat Western Health’s patients are such that the company requires each member of its team to be bonded and certified before entering a client’s home.
“There is a heavy interview and training process, and we really try to [hire] people who are eager to work with families and all sorts of people with different health ailments,” Sobelman says. “Above all, you have to be good at working with people.”
The other side of Western Health is the private duty, non-skilled service they provide. For those clients who need some assistance with their daily routine but do not have any serious medical needs, private duty care is their best option.
“Whether it’s needing help getting in and out of bed, bathing, dressing, meal preparation or running errands, our caregivers are trained to help with just about any non-medical situation,” Sobelman says.
While skilled nursing is usually covered by Medicare and most other insurance companies, private duty services are not, which is why Sobelman says it’s important to research the types and rates of in-home care prior to actually requiring the assistance.
“It is not the most fun thing to research for your family, but it’s super important to do [this research] as proactively as possible, so that in the case where a doctor might ask you what agency you would like to work with for home health care, you would be informed,” she says.
It all comes down to focusing on patient choice every step of the way.
“If someone goes into [the hospital] and requests a specific agency for home healthcare, the doctors have to comply,” she says of the importance of being informed. “I tell this to every family and everyone I come into contact with. Our healthcare professionals … really connect with our patients and give them the best home healthcare possible,” she says.
Western Health HomeCare
690 Otay Lakes Road, Suite 120
Chula Vista, CA 91910
(619) 397-7800, or call Melissa Sobelman, Home Health Coordinator directly at (619) 954-1898