The following blog is a summary of the Help Choose Home podcast episode entitled, “Considering In-Home Care for Older Adults.” The National Association for Home Care and Hospice, Axxess, and corecubed are aligning resources to educate the public about the many benefits of the in-home care industry by launching a national digital grassroots campaign to educate consumers and professionals about the health benefits of choosing in-home care for older loved ones or family members recovering from an illness. This ongoing podcast series is hosted by Merrily Orsini, President and CEO of corecubed, an Asheville-based home care marketing company, and can be found by clicking here or by searching “Help Choose Home” in the iTunes store. The series is also available for listening on Google, or on any device at https://player.fm/series/help-choose-home.
America’s population is aging. According to the 2017 Profile of Older Americans, over the past 10 years, the population of people aged 65 and over increased 33%, from 37.2 million in 2006 to 49.2 million in 2016, and is projected to almost double to 98 million in 2060. Additionally, the U.S. Census Bureau projects that in 2035, older adults will edge out children in population size for the first time in U.S. history: People age 65 and over are expected to number 78.0 million, while children under age 18 will number 76.4 million.
The growing population of older adults has coincided with significant growth and change in the elder care industry. Historically, older adults were cared for at home. Over time, though, reimbursement from Medicare (federal insurance program) and Medicaid (individual state assistance programs) transformed where people received care. Because care following discharge from a hospital for surgery or major illness could be monitored and reimbursed in a skilled nursing or rehab hospital, the need for these facilities increased as the Medicare and Medicaid programs grew.
Today, the elder care industry continues to grow and change to meet the needs of our older population, many of whom wish to age or recover following a hospitalization in familiar surroundings. In-home care for aging adults is a readily available, convenient, and affordable option. And thanks to technology, in-home care can now easily be monitored, providing health care providers with up-to-date information on vital statistics, well-being, and more.
Merrily Orsini, president and CEO of corecubed, is a 30-year veteran of the home care industry. According to Orsini, the number one thing families need to understand when considering care for an older adult is when home care is appropriate.
In the best-case scenario, home care is successful when an older adult has a reliable support system. This involves not only family members or neighbors who regularly look in on the older adult, but also someone like a care manager, attorney, or CPA who can help oversee the general care of the older adult. Home care is not the best choice for everyone, though. Without a reliable support system, institutional care may be a better choice.
Pre-acute care, private pay or private duty care all describe in-home care for older adults that is designed to provide assistance with activities of daily living — such as eating, medication reminders, bathing, dressing and toileting. Typically, this type of care is less expensive at home, is paid for out-of-pocket and is not reimbursed by Medicare or Medicaid. There are exceptions, however, based upon whether the older adult has long-term care insurance or is a veteran.
If in-home care services are recommended for individuals who are 65+ years old following a hospitalization for an illness or surgery, these services may be eligible for reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid. Here again, however, it is important to have a reliable support system in place so that the older adult can gain the maximum benefit from recovering at home.
While older adults have been shown to recuperate quicker when receiving care in their homes, assessing their individual needs – from health to safety, as well as the available support system, is key to ensuring in-home care is the right choice.
The Help Choose Home podcast series provides information and resources to help those with a care need learn more about healthcare at home. This episode of the podcast and more can be found by clicking here or by searching “Help Choose Home” in the iTunes store. The series is also available for listening on Google here, or on any device at https://player.fm/series/help-choose-home/help-choose-home-podcast-with-merrily-orsini.
Help Choose Home is a collaborative effort by the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC), Axxess, and corecubed to educate the public about the many benefits of the in-home care industry, which includes non-medical home care, private duty nursing care, medical home health, hospice, and other in-home health and wellness services.