After hospitalization, most people prefer to heal at home. Similarly, the elderly prefer to stay home rather than go to a skilled nursing facility. Home health care can provide a variety of benefits to support activities of daily living, including assistance with cooking, cleaning, and even bathing. Here are 7 benefits of receiving care at home that you may not be aware of.
1) Home Care Can Reduce Falls and Hospital Readmissions
If you have had surgery or been hospitalized for a medical illness, you might have safety concerns at home, particularly the risk of falls. The truth is that falls with resulting injuries are quite common in hospitals1, despite efforts to reduce them. There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that an elderly or ill person is less likely to suffer a serious event at home compared to an acute care setting2. Home care can also reduce the rate of hospital readmission3.
2) Even if You Only Need Help With Housework, Home Care Can Get Help
Perhaps there’s no need for help with medications or post-surgical care. Maybe your biggest concern is that you or your loved one won’t be able to cook, clean, or generally take care of activities of daily living. It turns out that this is no longer a reason to stay in the hospital or nursing home. You don’t need to hire a skilled professional. Many agencies provide home health aides, who can help you or a family member cook and clean, and even provide help with bathing.
3) Home Care Can Provide Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy
If you’ve had surgery and you’ll be needing physical or occupational therapy, you don’t have to go to a rehabilitation facility. In most communities, at-home physical therapy services are available. Another benefit that at-home therapy provides, is the opportunity to assess the safety and accessibility of the home environment. A therapist’s trained eyes can spot fall hazards or bathroom dangers and provide helpful preventive advice.
4) You Can Get a Break From Caring For an Ill or Elderly Loved One
Caring for a family member is time-consuming and stressful. In the past, there was no relief from these burdens apart from having the ill or elderly family member admitted to the hospital. Now, with at-home respite care, your loved one can remain at home with a certified caregiver. Today there are a variety of options that can help you afford the cost of a respite care provider4.
5) You Don’t Need to Be in a Hospital to be Monitored
The need for close monitoring used to be a common reason patients needed long hospital stays. The advent of wearable technology has solved many of these problems, allowing patients to be monitored at home. Many cardiac and respiratory monitoring functions that could only be performed at hospitals can now be done safely in the home setting for infants as well as adults5. Remote cameras with or without two-way communication allow family or even professionals to monitor patients visually, and to check in periodically without having to make a home visit.
6) Home Health Care Specialists Can Help You Adapt Your Home to Fit Your Changing Needs
If you or your loved one is getting on in years and is unsure of the feasibility of staying at home for the long term, you can engage a professional to come to your home and make an assessment. A certified aging-in-place specialist can provide helpful advice regarding remodeling of a living space to make it accessible and safe for an elderly person for the long term6.
7) Here’s the Surprise: Home Care Provides a Hospital Level of Care at Home
If the only thing keeping a patient in the hospital is the need for intravenous medications, there is good news: there is now a way to manage infusion therapy at home. Specialty pharmacies and home nursing agencies collaborate to provide safe and effective care to patients at home.
- Preventing Falls in Hospitals | Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality
- Summary Data of Sentinel Events Reviewed by The Joint Commission
- Can Palliative Home Care Reduce 30-Day Readmissions? Results of a Propensity Score Matched Cohort Study | NIH
- Respite Care for the Elderly | Senior Living
- Factors that influence use of a home cardiorespiratory monitor for infants: the collaborative home infant monitoring evaluation | NIH
- Aging-in-Place Remodeling | National Association of Home Builders
- Geriatric Care Management for Low-Income Seniors | JAMA
- The Gatekeeper Program: Proactive Identification and Case Management of At-Risk Older Adults Prevents Nursing Home Placement, Saving Healthcare Dollars Program Evaluation | Home Healthcare Now