There are over 12,000 home health agencies in the United States. This proliferation is partly the result of a demand for medical care from the comfort of patient’s homes, and partly from escalating hospital and nursing home costs. Compared to the hundreds, even thousands of dollars that hospital expenses can accumulate to, home health expenses amount to – on average – $100 a day. The Rio Grande Valley is no exception in the need for such services, and our community is lucky to have medical places like Life Touch Home Health Services in McAllen, which strives to advise the community before they need treatment, and assure that patients maintain their independence if they do.
With their state-of-the-art healthcare equipment and 24/7 availability, Life Touch is at any time serving around 150 patients. Offering private-duty nursing as well as speech, occupational, and physical therapy, their staff is skilled, experienced, and trained in all the latest treatments and therapies. With their expertise, you can rest assured that you or your loved one will receive excellent healthcare in a supportive home-healing environment. “Our patient’s main priority is maintaining their independence and that is something we strive to assist them with, beginning with their health,” says Jonsete Reyna, registered nurse and Director of Nurses and Administrator at Life Touch.
Home health is considered acute care. “It’s not a long-term plan,” says Reyna. Life Touch offers an array of services such as wound care, IV therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy, for both adults and pediatrics. Reyna maintains that the family is key to a good medical outcome, so Life Touch supplements their broad range of health care services by involving the families in their loved one’s care. “Our job is to help the patient stabilize medically, maintain their independence, and keep them from going into the hospital.”
Life Touch’s services to the Rio Grande Valley extend beyond medical care. Through education, they hope to encourage the community to lead healthy lives. Taking preventative measures, according to Reyna, can decrease the frequency of unexpected hospital visits that contribute so much to medical costs. “We as an agency encourage our patients to gain control of their health, starting with their nutrition,” says Reyna.
However, our region’s cultural and genetic makeup contribute to some of the health problems she sees. “It takes a lot of teaching,” says Reyna. “Here in the Valley, we have a large Hispanic population. With that, you have a high incidence of diabetes and hypertension. There’s always a lot more that comes with these two disease processes.” Furthermore, Reyna has identified a cultural habit within our community: putting off doctor visits. “A lot of patients don’t start seeing the doctor until later on, generally when the disease has progressed,” she says. This is the other component of Life Touch’s mission – trying to encourage a health-conscientious community that takes action sooner rather than later. “It’s about encouraging our community to lead healthy lifestyles,” says Reyna.