Home is where the heart is…
Why Consider Aging at Home?
When faced with the daunting task of care giving, many do not know where to begin sorting through the options available. But in fact, the answer may be as simple as letting Mom & Dad stay put—helping them age comfortably and gracefully at home. Home care is not always the best solution for every eldercare situation, particularly if the home environment is unsafe or if your parent requires intensive medical needs. However, for millions of American families home care is a sure bet.
Home care provides a variety of benefits. Allowing your parent to remain at home is a relatively straight forward decision that can mean so much. Here are several considerations that can help you make an informed decision about keeping your aging parent at home…
Why Not Just Put Mom (or Dad) in an Institution?
One problem that our senior citizens face are the dangers of sub-standard health care. Another problem is the fact that this move is so very disruptive to the patient’s connection with friends and family that many simply lose the will to live, and die within a short time after being institutionalized.
The New York Times found that Medicare’s Five Star Nursing Home rating system is a misleading “hoax.” For example; overcrowded residents live 3 to a room, there is often a scarcity of basic supplies, and a shortage of trained qualified staff.
“Medicare Star Ratings Allow Nursing Homes to Game the System”
New York Times, August 25, 2014
Hospitals do not fare any better. According to the CDC over 20% of those hospitalized develop a complication such as an infection.
Another issue in healthcare is lack of communication. Many times, a communication failure occurs when a patient transfers from one setting (the hospital) to another setting (the home). Often, patients are discharged with no continuity of care and no communication between healthcare providers. Another example is when healthcare providers or patients do not know what medication they are supposed to be taking, or why. Patients often do not know what programs are available to help them recover because no social worker was involved in the process.
Prevention, Prevention, Prevention!
How do we empower patients to age independently in the comfort of their own home?
We have developed a unique system which provides the best possible care at home. This healthcare model especially benefits the chronically ill. Our organization has developed a simple, effective process, which restores consistent communication and whole patient care, thus delivering better health and the ability to age independently at home. We accomplish this by using care coordination which includes the latest evidence based medicine, technology (i.e. telemedicine), and new healthcare models (coaching). Home care:
- Promotes recovery, and reduces unnecessary re-admissions. (Avalere Study 2008)
- Honors your loved one’s dignity and independence. 90% of seniors want to age-in-place.
- Is personalized and keeps families together.
- Is safe, maintains the quality of life, and delivers better outcomes.
- Is the oldest, most respected form of health care and saves money.
Whatever you decide, just remember this – if you fail to take the necessary steps to prevent problems now – your loved one may end up permanently in a costly institution providing substandard care.
By: Dr. Jorge Arango and Tim Gray, Healthcare Information Technologist