According to the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), there are “millions of nurses, home care aides, therapists, and social workers” across the country who support elderly and disabled men and women at home. The vast majority of these individuals are unsung heroes who don’t receive much credit or recognition.
As the news media tends to focus more attention on negative stories (which tends to be its nature), there are many misconceptions about what home care and hospice offers to those in need. November is Home Care and Hospice Month, which makes it the best time of year to share information with those who rely on these services and the men and women who might need them in the future.
As noted by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice blog, November is Home Care & Hospice Month:
“It is highly appropriate in November that we celebrate the nurses, therapists, aides, and other providers who choose to use their lives to serve our country’s aged, disabled, and dying. No work is nobler, and no group is more deserving of our respect and admiration.” – Val J. Halamandaris, former NAHC [National Association for Home Care & Hospice] President
In 2016, home care providers traveled 7.6 billion miles to deliver services.
Ninety percent of Americans want to age in place, and home care is the preferred method of health care delivery among the disabled, elderly, and chronically ill.
Home care provides high-quality, compassionate care to more than 5 million Americans annually.”
There are currently 46.2 million Americans 65 and over (United States Census Bureau) and that number is growing rapidly with the Baby Boomer generation retiring. This is placing increased demand on home care and hospice services as increased numbers of men and women seek to remain home, even when dealing with potentially serious health issues and limited mobility.
The caregivers, visiting nurses, physical therapists, and even doctors who make house calls are the backbone of this industry and there are plenty of reasons to celebrate the work they do. Not only do home care services help improve comfort and safety for aging seniors, they also provide more emotional support that makes a difference in the quality of lives for these people.
The more the average citizen learns and understands about home care and hospice, the more likely they will choose these services for themselves when needed or recommend them to an aging parent or someone else they care about if or when the times comes to discuss the topic.