The words memorialized by Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz are shared by most elderly and frail individuals who are faced with the possibility of having to leave home because they can no longer care for themselves. In fact, recent studies have found that home care is preferred about nine to one over institutionalized care. Most people say they want to be cared for in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes for as long as possible.
Here are other reasons why home care has become widely viewed as the best and most viable delivery of health care in America:
2) Home care helps keep families together.
Compare this to taking an elderly person away from her loved ones. At no time is family more important than during times of illness. For example, taking the case of Sally, who is 76 and lives with her son and daughter-in- law. After Sally had several minor strokes, her family was concerned she might have to be moved to an assisted living facility because she could no longer be left alone when they were at work. They dreaded this possibility, and were greatly relieved when they found a home care agency that provided a companion to stay with Sally during the day. Now, they no longer have to worry about Sally, and she is very happy to be living at home with her family.
3) Home care helps seniors maintain their independence.
Home care allows seniors, who strive to maintain their remaining independence as long as possible, to continue to live in the place they function best – their home.
4) Home care helps promote healing.
Medical evidence shows that people recover more quickly at home.
5) Home care prevents or puts off institutional life.
Living in a long-term care facility is unfamiliar and can often be intimidating. Again, most say they prefer postponing the inevitable as long as possible.
6) Home care is safer.
There is no secret that people pick up infections and other complications when they live amid a chronically ill population (such as in a hospital or long-term care facility). This is obviously not the case when cared for at home.
7) Home care means personalized care.
You get this nowhere else. For example, take the case of Ken, who just celebrated his 90th birthday. After surgery he recently returned home from an acute rehab center, where for the first time since he started receiving home care services he was no longer receiving attention on a one-to-one basis. The aides and nurses, he felt, were too busy dealing with emergencies and he very much missed not having someone there to give him his morning shower or make sure he took his medication. He couldn’t wait to get home where his home health aide, Jenny, always puts his needs first.
8) Home care often gets the entire family involved in providing care.
Immediate and extended family members often take an active role at different times of the day when caring for a loved one.
9) Home care reduces the stress that often accompanies illness.
Illness increases anxiety and stress, but research shows it’s not nearly as great when care is practiced in the home.
10) Home care is the most effective form of health care delivered in terms of customer satisfaction.
It all comes down to the fact that people prefer to be at home. Take Stephanie, who lives alone. Her children and grandchildren keep trying to convince her that she needs to sell the house and move to a senior living community. Stephanie, however, keeps refusing because her greatest satisfaction is being able to depend on Elizabeth, the home health aide who has been with her for nearly three years now.
11) Home care is delivered by a special group of people.
People don’t work in the home care industry for the money. They do it for the emotional satisfaction of helping others and for making a difference in the life of another. Take Joanne, who has been a home health aide for nearly 30 years. She loves her job and cares for her patients in the same way she would want her own loved ones treated.
12) Home care extends life.
Studies by nursing schools and government agencies have found that home care actually extends life. Visits by home care personnel often provide spiritual as well as medical support.
13) Home care improves one’s quality of life.
For most people, the quality of their life is far better at home than anywhere else.
14) Home care is less expensive than other forms of care.
The cost of home care is always less expensive than hospitalization and almost always more affordable than nursing home or assisted living care.
15) Technology will make home care even more desirable in the future.
Medical and technological advances will soon make it possible to diagnose, monitor and treat illness at a distance. This will help make home care even more of a preferred option.
For all these reasons, home care continues to grow as the most preferred and most effective way to care for our elderly loved ones.