New Report Shines Light on Value of Growing Home Care Sector Within America's Health Care Continuum
This month the Home Care Association of America (HCAOA) and Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) released a groundbreaking report, titled Caring for America's Seniors: The Value of Home Care, proving the growing and critical role of professional home care in the United States in response to the millions of aging Americans who will need care. The report shines a spotlight on home care as a valuable and vital part of the solution to the challenges that accompany population aging.
"Home care enables people to remain in their homes for as long as possible, exactly where they want to be," said Molly K. Micel, RN, BA, CEO of LifeStyle Options, Inc. "The Value of Home Care report highlights the critical chronic care services we provide, as well as our industry's contributions to reducing the burden of care on family members, many of whom live great distances from their loved ones."
By 2030, the 65 and over population will represent 20% of the total population, up from 13% in 2010. This demographic revolution brings new challenges, including the prospect of finding care for the tens of millions of Americans who will need a full spectrum of assistance options during their extended lives. In fact, nearly 70% of all Americans 65 and older will need assistance at some point in their lives, and the ratio of potential family caregivers to those over 80 will steeply decline from 7:1 today to 4:1 by 2030.
Home care – whether home be a private residence or a retirement community - includes services such as ADL assistance, care coordination, medication management and transitional care. By assisting with Plan of Care compliance, unnecessary readmissions, emergency room visits or nursing home stays can be dramatically reduced. Home care services promote independence for seniors and peace of mind for family caregivers.
"As Americans live longer, they need more options for how care is provided, and home care ensures older adults have a choice for how and where they receive care," said Michael W. Hodin, CEO of the Global Coalition on Aging. “GCOA is proud to partner with HCAOA, the leading organization representing the highest-quality home care available, on this seminal report."
The data from the report shows that elderly Americans receiving home care generally need fewer trips to the doctor and are admitted to hospitals at a lower rate. As a result, home care reduces overall health care costs while creating jobs in a growing sector. In 2014 alone, the U.S. saved $25 billion in hospital costs due to the growth of home care services over the previous decade.
"Home care is one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S." said Phil Bongiorno, Executive Director of HCAOA. “Public policy makers and health care systems should recognize the integral part home care plays in the continuum of care and its contribution to our economy."