In decades past, whenever someone needed extensive direct medical attention -whether it was due to health issues as they aged or an accident or some other situation- they were dependent on hospitals or nursing homes, for the most part. Home health care has become a much more potent option and it is in greater demand, especially as the population in the United States ages.
Crain’s Chicago Business, in the blog, Out with nursing homes, in with home health care, written by Nona Tepper:
“Although the number of people age 65 and up has swelled in recent years to the fastest growing population in the U.S.—there were 49.2 million in 2016, up 40 percent from 2000—they’re more likely to end up in assisted living facilities or rely on home health professionals for care, said Jason Lundy, partner of the health practice group at law firm Polsinelli. Only the sickest patients now end up in nursing homes, he said. What’s more, patients 65 and older tend to find these accommodations more comfortable.”
With this increase in older men and women, there are more demands being placed on the medical system as a whole. People will generally deal with more health issues the older they are and when the percentage of the population that’s over 65 increases (with the Baby Boomer generation retiring now), it’s only going to put more pressure on the system.
In the past, nursing homes have been notorious for inadequate care, overworked staff members, and patients being left alone for hours, all night, and even for longer stretches of time. It’s one reason so few people have any desire to spend time in one of these facilities and why home care is growing in demand.
With greater increase in demand, the home care industry is the number one job creator in the U.S. at the moment, and that’s expected to remain steady for some time to come. However, with relatively low wages and a high stress job, there are concerns among some within the industry that the demand will outpace the supply, which could leave some aging seniors without this viable and valuable option.
With a more comfortable surrounding, better support, and more access to quality home health care, seniors have a better chance of recovering from any number of ailments or, at the very least, reporting a higher quality of life during these later stages of life than if they had to rely on nursing home or some other facility-type care.
Latest posts by Valerie VanBooven, RN BSN, Editor in Chief of HomeCareDaily.com (see all)
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