More Americans chose in-home care during COVID-19. Here’s why home care is a safe choice.
The COVID-19 pandemic increased concerns about the safety of where health care is received, accelerating the demand for in-home care. Virus exposure risk and restricted visitation policies for residential care facilities, in particular, led a shift by more seniors towards home-based care.
Even before the pandemic, home was the preferred site of care for most older Americans with 61% of seniors saying they would prefer to receive treatment in their home versus a skilled nursing facility. In 2020 and with the onset of the pandemic, home health agencies ran above their previous capacity with referrals reaching 109% of 2019 totals by October. A survey conducted by PwC’s Health Research Institute found even among those who didn’t have a home health visit in 2020, more than three-quarters of respondents would be willing to receive in-home care in the future for anything from a wellness visit to chronic disease management.
Advantages of care at home
Home health care encompasses a wide range of clinical health care services delivered in the convenience and privacy of the home. Registered and licensed health care professionals such as nurses, aides and therapists provide short-term or long-term care, depending on a person’s needs. These high-quality services may include wound care, medication management, therapy and rehabilitative services. Home health often provides relief from the symptoms of a chronic medical condition or is part of recovery after an illness, injury or hospital stay.
Home health care has been shown to be just as effective and to provide greater cost savings than inpatient care. A recent study from The American Journal of Accountable Care also revealed patients treated in a home-based setting following a visit to the emergency room were significantly less likely to be admitted or readmitted to the hospital. Many risks that are increased in an institutional setting, such as infections, are minimized when care is given at home and interactions with outside parties are limited.
Home care, which sounds similar, refers to a different set of non-clinical services provided by aides with special training. These services may include providing companionship, assistance with personal care, help with household chores, meal preparation and transportation to and from appointments.
Many seniors want to receive care at home to maintain their independence and continue to live in a familiar setting where they feel safe and comfortable. Aging in place often helps seniors remain alert and slows the advancement of memory loss, which can be heightened when moved to a new environment. Staying at home also supports retaining familiar social networks that can help seniors stay connected to friends and family in a secure setting.
The Charter difference
At Charter, our team of clinical home health and trained home care professionals can help you or your loved one remain independent without sacrificing quality care. Whether you are recovering from surgery, dealing with an illness, living with a chronic health condition, or need assistance with activities of daily living, Charter can provide the support you require. Through a variety of in-home services, our team can adapt care to your specific needs and help you regain independence and enjoy a higher quality of life. To learn more, contact Charter at (909) 644-4965.