America’s population is aging quickly. By the year 2020, 56 million Americans will be aged 65 and older; by 2050, that number will reach 84 million. At the same time, the number of potential family caregivers is decreasing due to demographic shifts and the increasing geographical distance between seniors and their families. These and other factors mean that more people may need to look beyond their immediate families for care as they get older.
“More Americans are requiring care than ever before,” said John Hamby, owner of FirstLight Home Care of Temecula. “Statistics show that 40 percent of adults 65 and older currently need assistance with daily living activities. And it’s projected that nearly 70 percent of Americans who reach age 65 will not be able to care for themselves without assistance at some point in their lives.”
Home care can be a valuable solution to help meet these growing needs by keeping seniors independent, safe and living at home – where nine out of 10 seniors would prefer to be.
What is home care?
Non-medical home care can help aging seniors maintain healthy and active lifestyles for as long as possible in the comfort of their own home – wherever home may be. Services emphasize preventive care that supports seniors’ wellbeing.
Home care sends trained caregivers into homes to help seniors manage the necessary activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing and meal preparation. Home care services also provide companionship and support around the home with tasks such as medication reminders, laundry and light housekeeping, errands and transportation.
Home care is an essential part of our overall health care continuum because it provides a cost-effective alternative to institutional long-term care and it helps alleviate the strain often put on acute care facilities.
What are the benefits of home care?
Home care can help in many ways:
- It gives seniors a choice to age in the place they call home while maintaining dignity and independence.
- It can ensure that seniors maintain healthy routines, avoid accidents and injuries, manage chronic conditions and follow the care plans provided by their doctors.
- Because caregivers help seniors maintain healthy lifestyles, this can lead to fewer doctor visits, prevent a trip to the hospital or keep seniors from going into a nursing home, which can all lower overall healthcare costs.
- Home care provides peace of mind to family caregivers and can reduce the emotional and physical stress of the person providing care.
Understanding your home care options: There are a couple of different options to consider when it comes to selecting a home care provider.
One option is employer-based home care. These are agencies in which caregivers are direct employees, not contractors. These agencies are licensed and regulated by their states; they provide important employee protections; and they recruit, screen, hire and train their caregivers.
Another option is home care registries. Registries serve as a middleman, offering lists of caregivers and referring those caregivers to clients. Registries often employ caregivers as independent contractors, rather than employees. Additionally, those who hire from a registry may become the caregiver’s employer, assuming certain responsibilities such as background checks and drug testing, as well as other risks, liabilities, and compliance issues.
“Ensuring seniors have quality care is vital to their health and well-being,” added Hamby. “Home care allows adults to choose where they age, and it helps them live safely and independently for as long as possible.”
This article is provided by FirstLight Home Care of Temecula. For more information, visit www.Temecula.FirstLightHomeCare.com or call (951) 395-0821.