There is growing public demand for health care services that are available to the public in their own homes. The reasons have to do with tradition, advances in technology, and with cost effectiveness.
Modern technology has developed to the point where many services that are available in the hospital can be provided at home. There is significant evidence home care is less costly than other forms of care, and that it is the most satisfying form of health care available to the American public. It is an idea whose time has come.
So…why home care?
It’s delivered at Home
There really is, “no place like home.” It’s hard to imagine healing or feeling well in a place where schedules are dictated to you, strangers and shift changes are the norm and turnover of the neighbors is routine. Or where your comfort items, pets or visitors are limited – never mind the constant assault by fluorescent lights.
And yet, that is the nature of the situation when seniors are forced out of their homes and into assisted living or nursing home facilities in the name of “better care.” The question becomes, “better for whom?”
The reality is that home care accommodates virtually all of the same facets of care that assisted living and nursing homes provide. From companionship and meal preparation, to daily grooming and toileting.
Home care services work especially well as an augmentation to skilled nursing care. That means even injured or ill clients can enjoy the comforts of their home while receiving all aspects of professional care required.
Many home care agencies offer services from both licensed home care aides as well as certified nurse assistants (CNAs) for more comprehensive service options.
Home care keeps families together
Often, moving an individual from their home to a more formal care facility results in the splitting up of families. It could require an out-of-town move, one spouse may be left behind, the transfer may remove an individual from the household of extended family members or – as is the case for many seniors – it can mean leaving behind beloved, four-legged friends who have served as long-term companions.
In our experience, the need for connection with family and loved ones at any given time is directly proportional to the level of care the individual requires.
Providing care in the home, through the help of licensed, compassionate home care aides, will allow families to stay more connected and engaged.
It facilitates independence and a greater sense of self-worth
While the impetus for moving a loved one into a professional care institution may be well-founded, the clients themselves often have a much different interpretation of the upheaval.
Being moved out of home they love, forced to whittle a year’s worth of furnishings and possessions into a single room’s worth (or less) and having to relinquish control over daily decisions often sends seniors into a spiral of depression and into the belief that they aren’t needed, wanted or necessary.
Multiple studies show the majority of seniors prefer to age-in-place and that, when they’re allowed to do so, they have much less risk of loneliness and depression. Seniors who age in place, and have help brought to them, tend to get more exercise and remain more alert and engaged.
Ultimately, aging-in-place, and bringing care directly to the client, gives individuals the awareness that they are valued and provides them with a greater sense of self-worth.
Home care costs less than assisted living or nursing home care
In many cases, home care services require almost half of the costs associated with assisted living or nursing home options. This is because clients pay only for the services required, and because nobody has to foot the costs associated with the immense administrative and structural infrastructure required to run assisted live-in care institutions.
According to Genworth Financial, the average monthly cost for a daily, home health care aide is about $3,432 per month. Compare that with the $5,779 spent monthly for a shared room in a nursing home and you can see that home health care is markedly more affordable. That’s especially true when you factor in the invaluable benefits of comfort, quality of life, social and family networking, etc. Both of these numbers are national averages, if you are in the DC metro area the cost of a facility can be anywhere between $6,000 – $10,000 a month depending on which facility you choose and the “ad-ons”. Home care in the area is also more that the study’s average, but still less than a facility.
There are many different ways to pay for home care services, ranging from Medicare, Medicaid, private health insurance plans and other creative financing options. If paying with Medicare or Medicaid you will have to make sure the home care agency is certified to provide these services.
Seniors retain an active role in their own care and well-being
As we mentioned above, seniors who are sent elsewhere to live often give up their sense of autonomy. This can result in a defeatist attitude, letting others take care of everything for them, regardless of how they feel or what they want.
When care is brought into the home, seniors retain more autonomy. With acute memory care as the exception, caregivers will always provide and discuss various options with their clients, and they consider clients as primary agents in their own care plan.
Therefore, home caregivers go with the flow of their clients’ wishes. Schedules and menus can be changed, the senior’s own holidays and rituals can be observed exactly as they like and individuals get to maintain a continuous feeling of authority over their own lives.
Home care is personalized care
Even the most well-meaning of institutions simply can’t provide 100% personalized care approaches for each of their patients. It’s impossible in a community setting where there are multiple adults requiring care from a single, individual caregiver.
Home health care is 100% personalized to meet our client’s need at any given time. We tailor meals, activities, schedules and services in direct relationship with our clients’ preferences and interest.
As a result of this one-on-one attention, our caregivers have the time to notice all the little things that may warrant a shift in care. This can be as simple as a food type that is left behind on a plate, indicating a menu revamp is in order, to a behavioral or mental lapse that might signal an adverse reaction to medication or the beginning signs of dementia.
On a small scale, personalized home care improves the quality of life. On a macro scale, personalized and attentive care saves lives, and it certainly reduces incidences of hospital admissions and readmissions.
Home care providers answer a calling
Nursing homes advertise for “help wanted” and the low-paying positions available are often filled with anyone who is desperate for a job and answers the add. This paradigm is entirely different in the world of home healthcare.
Our compassionate caregivers have a calling. In most cases, they come to us asking if we’re hiring because they are innately drawn to – and are talented at – helping others and making others feel good.
From home care aides to certified nurse assistants – all of our staff come backed by exemplary education and training, clear criminal background and DMV checks and an unrivaled desire to improve the quality of life and care for their clients.
Those who age-in-place live longer
The studies show over and over again that not only does aging-in-place improve quality of life, it improves longevity too. Long-term care insurance providers meticulously track mortality rates in various care settings.
As an article at lifecarefunding.com states, “…individuals living in institutional care (regardless of age) will have significantly shorter life expectancies than their contemporaries living independently.” This is especially true for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s, who typically have a life expectancy of one year or less when moved from their homes to a nursing home.
As we like to put it, not only do our caregivers add years to our clients’ lives, we “add more life to their years.”
Be prepared for the future
Perhaps one of the most comforting things about establishing a home health care plan is that you are always prepared for the future. The types of services and care required by each client are evaluated on a case-by-case, and day-by-day basis.
Any observed changes or areas of concern will be discussed with the client and/or the family. When a different level or type of care is needed, it can be provided instantly, without any dramatic changes required on behalf of the client. We’re always prepared to provide the next level of care.
Establishing a home care plan sooner rather than later eliminates the risk of a crisis that demands making life-altering decisions in a moment’s notice. With a home care team in place, your loved one is surrounded by professionals who can always provide educated and experienced advice and recommendations.
This ranges from modifications that make the home more accessible, to establishing when it might be wise to bring a CNA or other skilled professional into the picture.
Aging-in-place with home care is the way to go
After decades of home care experience, we’ve seen over and over again why home care is the only way to go.
We are here to help!
You can reach out to us at any time without ANY pressure to commit to our services. Simply complete the form below so that we can learn more about your unique situation and share how our caregivers can improve the quality of your life!