National Home Care Month!

November is National Home Care Month. This month is a time when the home care community joins together to celebrate and raise awareness about the many individuals who make home care possible. From an array of health, therapeutic and social services delivered to patients in their homes, to the patients themselves whose courage and independence inspires us all – we work together to provide affordable, cost-effective, appropriate care in the comfort of the patient’s home.

Home care allows people to live independently, providing vital support for families while improving a patient’s quality of life. Generally speaking, individuals are most comfortable in their own homes. “Home,” whether that is in your family home, an apartment, assited living or relative’s home, it is where people experience the greatest sense of security, stability and belonging. Those receiving home care include the elderly and persons with disabilities, as well as chronically ill and post-acute care patients of all ages.

Home care is an increasingly effective option for treating and managing a growing range of acute and chronic health conditions (i.e. congestive heart failure, diabetes, recuperation after surgery) outside of traditionally defined health care settings. Home care results in shortening a person’s length of stay in a hospital or nursing home by providing post-acute care that would otherwise occur only in a hospital.

A health crisis our country is facing can be summed up in two numbers: 5 and 50. These numbers stand for the 5 percent of patients who account for 50 percent of rising health care costs. For the top 5 percent of Americans who suffer from multiple chronic conditions, home care is the cost-effective answer to keep them out of hospitals and in their homes.

As the baby boomers in America continue to age, home care is projected to grow exponentially. Nurses, home health aides and personal care aides are among the top five occupations projected to see the largest increase in jobs in the near future.

The home care nurse managing and treating chronic conditions, like diabetes or heart disease, helps oversee their client’s medications, check vital signs, monitor blood sugar levels and zero in on the most serious and oftentimes, most preventable health risk factors. In-home therapists help patients retain mobility and avoid injuries that could bring them back to the emergency room. Skilled home care agencies, made up of aides, nurses and therapists, help thousands of people with disabilities and medically frail or elderly patients avoid unnecessary or premature nursing home admissions and opt instead for the comfort of home.

We encourage you to join the growing number of passionate health care professionals that provide care and compassion and effectively work to provide high quality, cost-effective care at home!       

This blog was written by Little Falls RN Case Manager, Anne Janson.