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6 Surprising Facts About Home Healthcare

Home Health Care Visiting nurse with patient VNA Visiting Nurse Association

If you’re considering in-home senior care for yourself or a loved one, you probably know that help is available for things like transportation to appointments and medication management, but home health care includes so much more! Read on for additional services and surprising facts about this growing source of help for seniors and their loved ones.

Home health care helps keep seniors independent

It can be hard to watch your loved ones struggle as they grow older and you may feel overwhelmed and unable to help as much as you’d like. Even with the best of intentions, simple tasks take time and effort on your part. Whether your family member struggles with hygiene, preparing meals, or managing his or her health and medications, quality home care can help keep your loved one independent – and living at home!

Home health care isn’t just for seniors

Many people think of home health care as being a resource for their senior loved ones, but help at home is available for almost anyone who needs it. Whether recuperating from a hospital stay or coping with a long-term disability, home health care services can provide independence and trusted help where and when it is needed most.

Home care is great for individuals with low or moderate needs

You may think of home care as a service available for individuals who have serious medical conditions or challenging needs, but this is not necessarily the case. Home care can benefit individuals with all types of needs. Here are some services that an exceptional home care agency should be able to provide:

  • Respite care
  • Personal care, including help with hygiene and mobility
  • Housekeeping, including help with cleaning and laundry
  • Nutrition, including meal preparation and feeding
  • Companionship
  • Transportation and errands, including transport to and from appointments, shopping, and dining out

Home health care is affordable

Many people hold the belief that home health care is expensive, and this can certainly be the case, but overall, it is manageable and usually more affordable than an assisted living or nursing home facility.

  • For 2019, the average cost of home care through an agency was $21.00 per hour, although individual state averages ranged from $16.00 – $28.00 per hour.
  • Private aides can be hired to provide many of the same services with fees that are lower, but it’s important to keep in mind that independent caregivers are usually uninsured, do not undergo background checks, and may not be able to provide a back-up in case they are unavailable to work.
  • Financial assistance for home health care is available, and home health care may be covered by insurance.

Home health care is growing

The healthcare industry itself is growing, and home health care specifically is expected to grow considerably. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, caregiver careers such as personal care aides and home health aides are among the fastest-growing professions, projected to increase by about 36% within the next eight years.

This growth can be attributed to the a few things. First, as the “Baby Boomer” population continues to age, these seniors will need additional support to remain independent and healthy in their own homes. In addition, an increase in population overall means that there are more individuals needing assistance with chronic health conditions. And healthcare reforms in recent years have led to more people accessing their health benefits and seeking help with their health care needs.

What does all this mean for you and your loved ones? Home health care is more affordable and accessible than ever!

Caregivers enjoy rewarding careers

As with any job, burnout and stress can occur, but the majority of caregivers find their career rewarding. According to the Pew Institute:

  • 88% of caregivers providing at least one type of care for someone aged sixty-five or older found it rewarding.
  • 32% (about one third) of these caregivers reported finding their caregiver role to be stressful.

Chances are that when you hire a home health caregiver, he or she will find the role fulfilling, which is just what you would want from someone who is providing quality care, whether it’s medical in nature, as a companion, or something in between.

Agencies abound

There are approximately twelve thousand home health care agencies in the United States. This means that you have plenty to choose from, but it also means that you may need to be more careful in researching and hiring an agency you can trust. Here are some important things that should factor into your decision:

  • Quality staff, including training, years of service, and background checks
  • Affordability
  • An excellent reputation
  • Good references

No matter your reason for searching for home care for yourself or a loved one, it’s important to remember that quality care is available and can provide peace of mind for years to come.