Have you ever struggled with knowing what the right choice would be for your family member? How much longer you can safely keep your loved one at home before having to face the difficult choice of moving them to a more supportive environment such as a nursing home?
In some cases, a nursing home facility may the best choice and perhaps even the only choice for a loved one. But what if they could get the care they needed at home?
Research has shown that most seniors don’t want, and in some cases even refuse, to go to a nursing care facility. They would prefer to stay in their own home, which is not only familiar and comfortable, but where they are also not bound to the rules and schedules of an institution or staff. We also know that many seniors who move to nursing homes become depressed, show a faster decline in mental and physical function, and are likely to die sooner than if they remained at home with support.
In today’s world, new “Smart” technology is making it easier for caregivers and family members to feel better about leaving their loved ones in the place they have called home for so many years rather than moving them to a nursing home.
Exciting technology such as sensors, voice activation, GPS, Bluetooth, cellular connectivity via mobile phones, smartphone monitoring apps, sophisticated computers, devices to track medication and Alzheimer’s wandering, activity/inactivity in the house, falls and real-time health information are changing the lives of seniors across the country as they become less independent and therefore more reliant on both formal and informal caregivers to meet the physical, cognitive and mental health needs associated with disease and aging.
These incredible capabilities are making Home Health Care a rapidly growing industry. Keeping loved ones at home, rather than having to place them in Nursing Homes is now possible, and coming to families, the clients, and society at a much lower cost. And of course, cost is only part of the picture. Most families and seniors are much happier to stay at home where they belong.
With growth there is always risks, so we are cautiously optimistic. For example, we have seen that the development of some regulations in nursing homes over the past 20 years has likely come as a result of serious risks to residents, bad management, lack of oversight, and incidents of endangerment.
We want to ensure this is not the case with the home care boom. Hopefully, as home care grows, we will see more technology and processes being put in place to ensure both clearly defined standards of care and seamless communication between management, staff, family members and care recipients. After all, seniors getting the care they need and remaining safe in their chosen home environment is the goal of excellent home care.
When this happens, we can say with confidence that “aging in place” with the support of home care really works.
For more information on home care palliative care services, contact UNS today at 1-800-334-5140 or email [email protected].