There are such positive feelings that all of us associate with being home. Our home is our castle, our refuge from the storm. When we are not feeling well, most of us ask to go home. When we are feeling well, we enjoy the sanctity of our residences and the joy of being with our loved ones.
Home health agencies were started as public agencies to seek out the poor and the needy who otherwise would go without care. No one was turned away. This is still true for most of America’s home health agencies.
There is no more important social value. It is particularly important in times of illness.
None of us wants to be totally dependent and helpless. With some assistance, seniors can continue to function as viable members of society.
None of us wants to be placed in a nursing home unless this is the only place where we can obtain the 24-hour care that we need.
There is scientific evidence that patients heal more quickly at home.
For all of its lifesaving potential, statistics show that a hospital is a dangerous place. The risk of infection, for example, is high. It is not uncommon for patients to develop new health problems as a result of being hospitalized. These risks are eliminated when care is given at home.
A hospital, of necessity, is a regimented, regulated environment. The same is true of a nursing home. Upon admission to either, an individual is required to surrender a significant portion of his rights in the name of the common good. Such sacrifices are not required at home.
Home care is tailored to the needs of each individual. It is delivered on a one-to-one basis.
The patient and his family are taught to participate in their health care. They are taught how to get well and how to stay that way.
Unlike most forms of health care, which can increase anxiety and stress, home care has the opposite effect.
There is very high consumer satisfaction associated with care delivered in the home.
By bringing health services home, the patient does not generate board and room expenses. The patient and/or his family supply the food and tend to the individual’s other needs. Technology has now developed to the point where almost any service that is available in a hospital can be offered at home.
By and large, employees of home health agencies look at their work not as a job or profession but as a calling. Home care workers are highly trained and seem to share a certain reverence for life.
Home health care has its roots in the early 1900s when some method was needed to provide care for the flood of immigrants who populated our major cities. These individuals usually did not speak English, had little money, and did not understand American medicine. The same conditions exist now to some extent because of the new wave of immigrants and the large number of homeless individuals who roam our streets.
Other parts of the health care delivery system have been riddled with fraud and charges of poor care. There have been few, if any, major scandals related to home care.
Home care helps not only add years to life, but life to years. People receiving home care get along better. It is a proven fact.
The evidence is overwhelming that home care is less expensive than other forms of care. Home care costs only one tenth as much as hospitalization and only one fourth as much as nursing home placement to deal with comparable health problems.
The US General Accounting Office has established beyond doubt that those people receiving home care lived longer and enjoyed living.
There is a growing public acceptance and demand for hospice care, which is home care for individuals who are terminally ill.