Increasingly, families are making the decision to have health care provided in their own homes. With 10,000 Americans turning 65 each day in 2011, the need for quality, affordable health care becomes an increased concern across the U.S. The aging baby-boomers – it’s anticipated that by 2030 the number of people over 65 will exceed 70 million – are now in a position where they need extra help with chronic conditions and daily activities, but don’t want to lose the independence and comfort of their homes. In addition, the high costs of hospital and facility stays can cause a frightening financial burden. While not everyone who needs health care assistance is a senior citizen – like new mothers and singles living without family nearby – the focus is often on the baby-boom generation.
There is scientific evidence that supports the belief that people heal faster and feel better when allowed to be at home. Certainly the amount of germs and sources of infection are less when in a home environment over an institution. The psychological benefits are undeniable; when asked, most people who are hospitalized with an illness “just want to go home.” This also allows family to stay with the person in need, providing them with the knowledge that they are still in the loop of their loved-one’s health issues.
Routine can be essential for physical and emotional well-being. A home health care provider will help maintain the discipline of scheduled medications and therapies within a framework of personal routine. Allowing a patient the comfort of keeping their normal, daily routine in their own home adds to the quality of life and sense of safety. In addition, the health care provider can watch for changes in habits, attitudes, and demeanor that can be indicators of larger problems. The emotional well-being extends to those who live with the patient, as it can be difficult to care for a family member with so many other demands – like work or children – that divide their time. Lack of health care knowledge can put a strain on relationships between family members. With the help of a trained home caregiver, family can enjoy being with each other while still getting the best attention to health issues.
Sometimes, it is the simple things that can mean a huge difference in the health of someone in need of care. Having a health care provider come in a few times a week to fix a meal, assist with personal hygiene, and make sure that items are picked up for easy movement about the house can prevent illness or injury from poor nutrition, infection, or accidents. This type of service is also very beneficial to new mothers or those recovering from surgeries, etc. that are without the luxury of nearby family or friends to help during the first few weeks home.
An additional advantage to the comfort and health benefits is that it makes more economic sense to have a provider in your home. Lengthy stays in a hospital or institution can add up to thousands of dollars very quickly, compounding the stress in your life. By comparison, home health care is significantly cheaper, giving you more options with your health care dollar.
A home health agency is strictly regulated, meeting federal requirements and regulations to assure you that your home care provider is highly trained. While they are not a substitute for a doctor’s care, they can be an essential supplement to daily routine; keeping you healthier, and happier for years to come.