January 17, 2014
The numbers are staggering: The 2011 census indicated that almost 15 percent of Canadians were 65 years or older, and this group is expected to double by 2036. The number of Canadians over 80 is expected to quadruple by 2051.
Can our country’s healthcare system withstand this dramatic increase? How will the boom affect quality, cost and availability of care?
Questions abound, but studies like this one highlighted in the whitepaper “Paid In-Home Care: Offering Substantial Economic Savings”* suggest at least one certainty: non-medical in-home care will become increasingly important in the health of our country’s aging baby boomers and its healthcare system as a whole.
Here are four ways in-home care can help to ease the healthcare burden of the Elder Boom:
1. Home care can help decrease overall healthcare costs.
As one might expect, caring for seniors in their own home decreases financial liability to both families and the healthcare system as a whole when compared to care provided exclusively through a formal healthcare setting. Results from the “Value of Caregiving at Home” study, commissioned by Home Instead, Inc. (“Home Instead”), franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise network, and highlighted in the whitepaper “Paid In-Home Care: A Growing Part of the Medical-Care Continuum,” suggests a variety of benefits of at-home care that translates into lower cost of care and more hours of care. Those two outcomes are obvious benefits in a time when the number of seniors requiring care is steadily increasing.
2. Home care can reduce the number of doctor and hospital visits.
Seniors who receive non-medical in-home care generally require 25 percent fewer doctor visits than those who do not, according to a white paper published by Home Instead titled “Paid In-Home Care: More Care & Better Care for Seniors”. Fewer doctor visits generally means less cost and more physician availability. The Home Instead Senior Care network’s Returning Home® program, for example, provides specific home care services that can help reduce the risk of hospital readmissions.
3. Home care can ease the demand on medical professionals.
As the number of seniors requiring care grows, so does the need for doctors and caregivers. There is a “critical shortage of geriatricians in Canada” according to a report in the Canadian Geriatrics Journal. Home care will become essential as the growth of the senior population is predicted to outpace the number of available medical professionals.
4. Home care can increase quality of care.
Seniors receiving non-medical in-home services typically receive more hours of overall care than those who do not, according to “Paid In-Home Care: More Care & Better Care for Seniors.” And not just a little more – over 100 percent more! In-home care goes beyond traditional medical care to address the patient’s practical needs as well, such as transportation and grocery shopping, giving seniors a more diverse quality of care and allowing them to better retain their independence as well as their health.
View this additional senior care research to learn more about the impact of paid in-home care on the senior care industry.
*Note: The whitepapers included in this article focus on the experience in the U.S. but contain information that are of interest in other jurisdictions as well.
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