What forces older Americans from their homes into assisted living or full-time nursing facilities? It's not necessarily declining health itself, but how ailments prevent people from living independently.
Home healthcare is fast becoming an established and preferred solution increasingly accepted in most countries especially those with a growing elderly population. More than 90% of American seniors say they want to remain in their home as long as possible so they can be in the comfort of their own homes. The National Council on Aging notes that they would opt any time to live in their own homes with home care assistance in preference to an assisted living facility.
Studies now show that small changes in living spaces and daily strategies can keep seniors out of nursing facilities for months or even years, saving families – and, potentially, the nation – millions of dollars with the help of in-home care.
Home Instead Senior Care created a research project to prove that in-home care provides better care for seniors. The reason for this may be that the use of paid in-home non-medical care results in more hours of care – and presumably better care – for older adults. What's more, the benefits of paid in-home non-medical care extend not just to seniors, but also to the people who most often are caring for them: their family members and friends.
This Home Instead Senior Care research project—entitled the "Value of Caregiving at Home" study—examined the perceptions and experiences of U.S. caregivers for seniors by conducting a survey among adults (aged 18 and older) who were providing and/or arranging care for an older adult (aged 65 or older).
While in many families caregivers come from within the family, this might not always be a practical solution. "Caregiving is a stressful exercise often beyond the capacity of a family member. Certain types of caregiving might also require specialized training. With an increase in the elderly population, millions of adults now find themselves in a position where they are forced to care for parents and older relatives," says Betsy Miller, co-owner of Home Instead Senior Care of Orange Park. This presents a challenge because it is often a difficult choice to strike a balance between caring for an older loved one and taking care of one's own needs. This situation has created a mounting need for specialized home care services which include specialized nurses.
"Though families don't need to worry. Today with homecare being available, a senior no longer has to move to a nursing home when some facets of independent living becomes beyond them, says Betsy. "For the elderly and seniors who prefer to remain in their own homes, home care becomes a critical option." Luckily, there are different types of home care assistance available which cover a range of services from medication management, nursing care to basic assistance with daily living.
"It has been found that paid caregivers give seniors a 25% chance of staying out of the hospital," says Betsy. "Paid in-home non-medical care can play a vital role in ensuring that seniors receive necessary and appropriate care even though the U.S. healthcare system is stretched thin in funding and staffing – a problem that likely will become more pronounced in the coming decades."
In an especially significant finding, the study indicates that on average, seniors receiving paid in-home non-medical care experience fewer doctor visits each year. This has major financial implications for seniors and their families, the healthcare system, and the federal budget.
The use of paid in-home non-medical professionals has a major impact not only on the quality of care that seniors receive, but also on the number of hours per week of care that they receive. Find out more about in-home care by visiting our website.
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