More people prefer to ‘age in place’ today. Coupled with a significantly growing elderly population across the country (commonly referred to as Baby Boomers), the demand for home care support services has been on the rise. It is currently the number one job creator in the country, though Medicaid fraud, wasteful spending and services, and low wages have compounded some of the challenges agencies and other providers face. In and around the Greater Boston Area, though, the impact of this growing desire to ‘age in place’ is being felt among nursing homes.
A total of six nursing homes and one assisted living community around the region are planning to close within the next few months. That’s a significant number, especially when one considers how fast the aging population is growing.
According to CBS Boston, in its blog, Families Scramble [a]s Boston Area Nursing Homes Close, written by Beth Germano:
“She’s [Karen Steinberg, whose mother had been relying on assisted living run by Kindred] not alone as Kindred, along with Genesis Healthcare, are planning the closings that will eliminate 679 beds. Marc Chessler wishes he had more notice for his 77-year-old mother Christian who’s also been at the Needham facility for four years. “I understand it’s a business decision, but this is where people live. She has a very supportive community there after my father passed away,” said Chessler.
According to the state, there’s a growing trend toward aging at home. Statewide only 85 percent of nursing home beds are filled.”
Boston and many metropolitan regions across the country are hotbeds, so to speak, of opportunity within the home care industry. While people in rural communities are also in need of these services, the bulk of agencies and caregivers live and work in and around the most heavily populated regions.
As the cost of home care remains significantly lower than other options, and as states grapple with tighter budgets, there’s a significant benefit to choosing home care as opposed to assisted living or nursing home care. With access to home care aides to assist with ADLs (Activities of Daily Living) and home health care nurses to aide in medical care, such as checking vitals and helping with medications, it has become possible for most men and women in need to remain at home, where they’re most comfortable.
If this trend continues, Boston and other areas across the country should expect to see more assisted living communities and nursing homes struggle to remain open and that will bring the consequence of even greater demand for in home care support.
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