Caregivers Community

National Home Care & Hospice Month

Brooke Phillips, CWCMS
Editor | Shield HealthCare
11/04/13  8:27 PM PST
Heart in handsof a nurse

Home care and hospice workers provide vital services to Americans who are aged, disabled, and ill. This caring work is performed by more than 2 million nurses, therapists and independent caregivers each year. By providing professional in-home care, home health and hospice providers help preserve the independence and dignity of the ones we love.

Home health providers are not only the preferred choice for most patients, they are often also one of the most economical options available. Whereas a typical nursing home stay might average approximately $559 per day, and a typical hospital stay averages nearly $2,000 per day, professional in-home care averages a low $44 per day.

A growing combination of healthcare technology and professional in-home care is helping to preserve the independence and dignity of many U.S. seniors, keeping our aging loved ones out of hospitals or nursing homes and actively engaged with those they love. Many home health agencies now encourage patients and family members to choose their own home aides. This family participation helps patients and aides form lasting bonds with their professional home caregivers. Home health care professionals often become friends and family to their patients, assisting with errands and providing seniors with company and conversation as well as providing experienced in- home medical care.

By The Numbers

The number of Americans over 65 is expected to increase by over 50% to 18 million in 2030, and the percentage of seniors who are childless is expected to rise from 14 to 18 percent. In addition, the number of seniors who will have only one or two adult children is expected to increase to nearly 50%. As a result, aging seniors who want to remain in their homes may not be able to count on their families for long-term care.

The term “Home Health Care Organization” includes home health care agencies, home care aide organizations and hospices. Approximately 12 million individuals currently receive home health care from more than 33,000 agencies. Reasons for in-home health care include acute illness, long-term health conditions, permanent disabilities and terminal illness, among others.

Hospice Care

Hospice care agencies provide supportive and palliative care to people at the end of life. Hospice services focus on providing comfort and quality of life for terminally ill patients and their families. These professional services, provided primarily in patient homes, include medical, emotional, and  spiritual care for patients and their loved ones. Hospice workers – often referred to as angels in the medical field – focus on bringing compassion, comfort, peace, and dignity to the terminally ill in the final stages of life.

For more information about home health care and hospice care, visit the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, which provided source information for this article.