Home health care may be viewed by the general public as a beneficial option for seniors with limited mobility, but it’s more about dealing with chronic health issues than simply having trouble getting up and moving around. In–home care aides are an invaluable asset for helping aging and disabled men and women get out of bed, bathe, toilet, prepare meals, clean, and even get out to stores and doctors’ appointments, but they are also an asset for those individuals struggling with their health.
In Kansas, for example, more than 9 in 10 residents who are relying on home care support services are facing three or more chronic health issues. These could involve a number of factors, including illnesses, limited mobility, heart failure, cancer, pneumonia, and so forth.
This is one of the primary reasons why in-home care is so important for an aging population, and why it is essential states and the federal government properly fund these support services.
As noted by Jane Kelly in the op-ed piece, Home health care for seniors at risk unless Congress acts, published by The Wichita Eagle on August 10, 2019:
“More importantly, on top of the decidedly negative impact this could have on our state’s economy some of our most vulnerable Kansans stand to be disproportionately affected by this change. Currently, 91% of our most at-risk Kansans who rely on home health care are living with three or more chronic conditions. To put this in perspective: out of all of the Medicare recipients in Kansas, only 10.4% have three or more chronic conditions, emphasizing just how in need these individuals who rely on home health are compared to other patient groups. This alone demonstrates why the policies to curb access to home health care are particularly harmful for seniors here in Kansas.”
While it’s simplistic enough to assume home care is for an elderly population that struggles with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), it’s eye-opening to realize the vast majority of these aging men and women are dealing with potentially significant health issues that extend beyond simple mobility challenges.
Keeping people in their homes, where they are most comfortable, is not only preferable for those elderly citizens, it is also the more cost-effective option. Home care is far more affordable than most other facility related choices which are more often thought of when it comes to people who struggle with chronic health issues.
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