November is National Home Care & Hospice Month, which celebrates nurses, home care aides, therapists, and social workers who greatly impact the lives of every patient and family they assist.
According to the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, last year, the first of 78 million baby boomers turned 65, while the remaining boomers “will reach their golden years in the next two decades.” With fewer health care dollars available every year, the growing trend has shifted from hospital care and nursing homes to home care.
So, let’s chat and chew about the advantages of home care.
BENEFITS OF HOME CARE
First and foremost, seniors feel most at ease in the comfort of their own home. This not only reduces unavoidable hospital readmissions, but according to HomeHealthCareAgencies.com, “research show that individuals recuperating from illness, injury, or surgery heal more quickly when recovering at home instead of a medical facility.”
It’s important to note that there are several different types of home care. For example, a nurse can come to the house every day for a couple hours, or they can stay with your aging loved one overnight. Check out AARP’s list of home health care options here.
Especially with cases where an aging loved one has an acute or chronic illness, research show that home health care workers can improve client’s ability to:
- Walk or move around
- Get in and out of bed
- Feel less pain when moving around
- Improve bladder control
- Need less urgent / unplanned medical care, etc.
In some situations, an elder spouse takes on the responsibility of caring for their loved one, causing their health to quickly weaken as well. Likewise, younger family members can also choose to take on the responsibility of carrying for aging family members, which in turn can cause them a great deal of stress—both financially and emotionally. Having home care not only helps provide peace-of-mind, it affords time used towards other obligations such as children, your job, spouse, and much more.
Lastly, home care provides companionship. While it’s difficult to measure how individuals needing home care truly benefit from companionship, research shows that social isolation can be as harmful to someone’s health as smoking.
COST OF HOME CARE
When deciding on the future care of our elderly loved ones, the last thing people typically want is to place them in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Not only is it extremely expensive, the care is also considered far less compassionate and tailored to the individual’s needs.
This chart compares the nationwide average for various types of care from a 2012 MetLife Market Survey of Long-Term Care Costs.
While the thought of figuring out how to care for your aging loved ones may be very overwhelming, know that there are multiple options available. In the end, home care can provide a kindhearted and professional caregiver that will enable your family member to remain in control of their options, feel more relaxed, and most importantly, feel safe in the comfort of their own home.