Why Home Care?

The ability to remain in their own homes is vital to most elderly people. It helps them retain their dignity and their sense of control in the face of physical limitations, which often strips them of that very sense of dignity and independence. In fact, research shows that levels of happiness and personal satisfaction in the geriatric population are directly correlated to one’s sense of self-autonomy. However, parents are frequently urged by their own children, acting with only the best of intentions, to move out of the comfort of their own home, out of concerns for the parents’ safety, personal care, homemaking and social needs.

Twenty Reasons for Home Care

by Val J. Halamandaris

There is no question in my mind that home care is the wave of the future. There is growing public demand for health care services that are available to the public in their own homes. The reasons for this trend are complex. They have to do with tradition, with technology, and with cost effectiveness.

Posted on 8/6/15

1It is delivered at home.
There are such positive feelings that all of us associate with being home. Our home is our castle, our refuge from the storm. When we are not feeling well, most of us ask to go home. When we are feeling well, we enjoy the sanctity of our residences and the joy of being with our loved ones.
2Home care represents the best tradition in American health care.
Home health agencies were started as public agencies to seek out the poor and the needy who otherwise would go without care. No one was turned away. This is still true for most of America's home health agencies.
3Home care keeps families together.
There is no more important social value. It is particularly important in times of illness.
4Home care serves to keep the elderly in independence.
None of us wants to be totally dependent and helpless. With some assistance, seniors can continue to function as viable members of society.
5Home care prevents or postpones institutionalization.
None of us wants to be placed in a nursing home unless this is the only place where we can obtain the 24-hour care that we need.
6Home care promotes healing.
There is scientific evidence that patients heal more quickly at home.
7Home care is safer.
For all of its lifesaving potential, statistics show that a hospital is a dangerous place. The risk of infection, for example, is high. It is not uncommon for patients to develop new health problems as a result of being hospitalized. These risks are eliminated when care is given at home.
8Home care allows a maximum amount of freedom for the individual.
A hospital, of necessity, is a regimented, regulated environment. The same is true of a nursing home. Upon admission to either, an individual is required to surrender a significant portion of his rights in the name of the common good. Such sacrifices are not required at home.
9Home care is a personalized care.
Home care is tailored to the needs of each individual. It is delivered on a one-to-one basis.
10Home care, by definition, involves the individual and the family in the care that is delivered.
The patient and his family are taught to participate in their health care. They are taught how to get well and how to stay that way.
11Home care reduces stress.
Unlike most forms of health care, which can increase anxiety and stress, home care has the opposite effect.
12Home care is the most effective form of health care.
There is very high consumer satisfaction associated with care delivered in the home.
13Home care is the most efficient form of health care.
By bringing health services home, the patient does not generate board and room expenses. The patient and/or his family supply the food and tend to the individual's other needs. Technology has now developed to the point where almost any service that is available in a hospital can be offered at home.
14Home care is given by special people.
By and large, employees of home health agencies look at their work not as a job or profession but as a calling. Home care workers are highly trained and seem to share a certain reverence for life.
15Home care is the only way to reach some people.
Home health care has its roots in the early 1900s when some method was needed to provide care for the flood of immigrants who populated our major cities. These individuals usually did not speak English, had little money, and did not understand American medicine. The same conditions exist now to some extent because of the new wave of immigrants and the large number of homeless individuals who roam our streets.
16There is little fraud and abuse associated with home care.
Other parts of the health care delivery system have been riddled with fraud and charges of poor care. There have been few, if any, major scandals related to home care.
17Home care improves the quality of life.
Home care helps not only add years to life, but life to years. People receiving home care get along better. It is a proven fact.
18Home care is less expensive than other forms of care.
The evidence is overwhelming that home care is less expensive than other forms of care. Home care costs only one tenth as much as hospitalization and only one fourth as much as nursing home placement to deal with comparable health problems.
19Home care extends life.
The US General Accounting Office has established beyond doubt that those people receiving home care lived longer and enjoyed living.
20Home care is the preferred form of care, even for individuals who are terminally ill.
There is a growing public acceptance and demand for hospice care, which is home care for individuals who are terminally ill.

In short, home care is the oldest form of health care. Health care has been traditionally given at home throughout the centuries. It is also the newest. Modern technology has developed to the point where virtually anything that is available in a hospital can be provided at home. There is significant evidence that it is less costly than other forms of care, and that it is the most satisfying form of health care available to the American public. Little wonder that the public is demanding that it be made more available. It is an idea whose time has come.