Forbes paints a picture of the latest trends for seniors living at home. There are 50 million Americans aged 65 and up. This population is dramatically different from a decade ago. Americans are living longer, and one in five will need personal care after the age of 85.
What hasn’t changed is this population wants to stay at home for as long as possible. With only 3 percent of senior adults living in nursing homes, extending services to this at-risk population is a much-needed part of the U.S. continuum of healthcare delivery. What services are available to this population to help keep them in their homes?
Let’s look more closely at two of the most popular services for elderly populations; home health and home care.
The Need for Home Health and Home Care
The latest figures show by 2060 there will be 98 million Americans aged 65 or older. The volume of people living past the age of 85 is expected to skyrocket. This makes the need for skilled nursing and home care assistance immediate, even as the unemployment market shrinks to less than 4 percent.
Two of the most in-demand services currently available to elderly populations living at home include home health and home care. While the names are similar, the tasks associated with each and the services provided are not.
What is Home Health?
The best way to discern home health vs. home care is to define these services in terms of the patient’s physical health. Home health services are typically provided as a continuation of a healthcare procedure. Take for example, hip replacement, a common procedure in older patients. After the inpatient surgery is complete, the patient’s mobility, no matter their age, will be greatly affected. These patients may have trouble driving to physical therapy, a necessary part of their recovery process. Home health care provides a way for a skilled caregiver to come into the person’s home and provide medical treatment.
Some typical home health services include:
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Medication administration and monitoring
- Long-term treatment and observation of chronic conditions such as diabetes
- Medical testing and health status monitoring
- Wound care
The goal of home health is to help a senior patient transition back to independence after an inpatient stay in a hospital or skilled nursing facility. These services are typically covered by government insurance like Medicaid or Medicare or by private insurance plans.
What is Home Care?
The goal of home care is to help patients with basic in-home tasks, such as preparing meals, cleaning, bill paying, and providing transportation. Because these services are less healthcare oriented, the type of staffing provided is not as highly trained – but is certainly just as valuable to the elderly person.
Home care is designed to help the elderly or disabled patient take care of themselves by providing companionship, help and support with taking medications, or assistance with bathing and grooming. Depending upon the state, these services may or may not be covered by Medicaid. They are typically not covered by private health insurance plans unless the plan is specifically for long-term care.
Make an Impact Today
If you’re looking for a new career path, providing home care is a great way to make an immediate positive impact on someone’s life. Contact the healthcare recruiters at National Recruiters today to find out how you can capitalize on a hot job market – and help someone in need.