According to the California Healthcare Foundation, more than 40% of Covid-19 fatalities so far were nursing home residents or workers. And that number is true across the nation – not just in the Golden State.
Shocked? You shouldn’t be. Despite strict regulations, nursing homes have long struggled with infection control.
The same organization states that “nursing homes are hot spots because they combine numerous risk factors for transmission: congregate living, a mostly elderly population with underlying health conditions, and inadequate staffing, PPE, and infection control for an emergency.”
And the public has taken notice. Healthcare consulting firm Transcend Strategy Group recently surveyed 1,000 family healthcare decision-makers across the country and found that two-thirds of respondents say they plan to use in-home care rather than facility-based care in the future.
Among those surveyed, 65% said Covid-19 has changed their opinions about how to best care for older adults, while 68% said they don’t believe that quality care can be provided in congregate settings.
We’ve put together a brief overview of in-home care, so you can make your own decision. Keep reading to learn more:
Aging in Place
Maya Angelou said, “The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”
There is no time this is truer, perhaps, than as we enter old age. According to the AARP, three out of four adults say they want to age in place, even if they need help with day-to-day activities.
Many seniors fear dying alone in a nursing home, surrounded by people they don’t know. When the time comes, they’d prefer to be at home, in an environment that feels safe and in the company of those they love.
The Benefits of In-Home Care
Home care can provide a variety of benefits for older adults who choose to age in place. Among the most important advantages is assistance with activities of daily living, including help with cooking, cleaning, and even bathing. Here are some other pluses you may be unaware of:
- It may seem obvious, but in-home care allows seniors the opportunity to age in place among their friends, family, and those they care about most. This can directly contribute to better mental and physical health as they age.
- Older adults who age in place feel a greater sense of freedom and the independence to live life on their own terms.
- In-home care providers can perform a wide variety of services, from help with daily activities to round-the-clock care.
- Home care professionals can provide family caregivers with peace of mind that their loved one is safe and secure while they go to work or tend to other duties.
- Older adults who have had surgery or have been hospitalized for an illness face a lesser risk of falls when recovering at home. Home care can also reduce the risk of hospital readmission.
- If your older loved one has specific medical needs, in-home nurses can provide skilled treatment, including wound care, intravenous infusions, and tracheostomy management.
- With in-home care and the rise of wearable technology, older adults can now receive continuous monitoring from the comfort of their own homes.
Of course, there are cases where an assisted living facility is the only option – and there are pros and cons to both in-home care and living in a nursing home. One of the biggest considerations should be the health needs of your older loved one. Remember to involve them in the decision-making process and do your research.