The Future of Elder Care
We’ve reached the day and age where older adults and their families are no longer viewing private-duty elder care as a luxury reserved only for the wealthy. In fact, senior home care costs may now be even lower than those associated with a nursing facility.
The future of elderly care is shifting from long-term care families to more in-home elderly care. This switch surprisingly generates significant savings while still improving clinical outcomes and increases patient satisfaction and well-being.
In this article, we’re discussing the future of elder care and how care standards are slowly moving towards more personalized, in-home care that brings with it a bevy of benefits to both the aging individual and their families.
What Does Elderly Care Look Like Now?
Currently, seniors make up about 13 percent of the U.S. population, so around 42 million seniors are living in America today. According to the Institute on Aging, 65 percent of elders get their long-term care needs from family and friends, leaving just 35 percent of seniors who require the assistance of long-term care, either in-home or in a facility.
The Increasing Senior Population
The primary issue that the U.S. is facing right now when it comes to elder care is that the population is growing. Thanks to the baby boomer generation, the number of seniors living in the U.S. is expected to spike dramatically over the next few years. In fact, researchers are predicting that more than 40 million people in the U.S. will cross over to the “senior” threshold within the next 10-12 years.
With so many seniors living in the U.S. at once, the government will be forced to spend more money on programs like Medicare. Due to this uptick in our elder population, senior care needs to continue to develop and evolve quickly to accommodate our aging population.
What Does In-Home Care Consist of?
In-home care is appropriate for individuals who prefer to stay at home, but also need additional help that their friends and family are unable to provide. This form of elder care allows seniors to age comfortably in their own homes.
Most in-home care protocols combine assisted living services and skilled health care services. There are a couple of different types of home care services for seniors:
- Home health care: This usually refers to situations in which skilled nursing care is involved
- In-home care: This service generally doesn’t require any type of medical care
In-home care for seniors is one of the fastest-growing and most requested services in the United States today. Agencies that provide home care options offer a range of different services from companionship to supervision and personal care duties. In-home caregivers are fitting for elders who want to stay at home, but also need ongoing care that family members and friends simply cannot provide.
While the differences between home health care and in-home care may seem subtle, it’s important to understand the level of care being provided as it can affect the cost of care and the sources of funding available.
In-home, non-medical care includes:
- Personal care
- Housekeeping and laundry
- Meal preparation
- Medication reminders
- Errands and shopping
Home health care activates typically involve activities of daily living, or ADLs. These include:
- Using the toilet
Insurances use these ADLs to determine and individual’s eligibility for insurance benefits.
The Case For In-Home Care Vs. Assisted Living
Although everyone’s situation is different and families are encouraged to make care decisions based on what’s best for their loved ones and their family, there’s an increasing body of evidence that suggests that care at home is very beneficial. In recent years there have been studies into in-home care versus facility care and the studies are showing that home care is just as good as inpatient care, possibly even better.
The demand for in-home care is increasing at a rapid pace, making it one of the most sought after services for seniors in the United States. Our society is now seeing and recognizing the benefit of keeping seniors at home where they’re comfortable and bringing the professional elderly care to them.
Additionally, the cost of in-home care is now rivaling the cost of assisted living facilities, so families are finding that in-home options are more cost-effective, too.
Home care has started to firmly take its permanent place in the health care community, with no signs of stopping in the future. With many Medicare Advantage programs now reimbursing for home care services, this confirms and solidifies the positive outcomes families are seeing by utilizing in-home elder care services.
In the future, Managed Care Organizations and Accountable Care Organizations will continue to look to leverage home care services to create the best and most cost-effective outcome for seniors.
Increased Home Care Technology
As we continue to shift towards more in-home elderly care, the demand and need for better home care technology increases. One of the most important trends we’re seeing is the continued evolution of technology across the home care industry as a whole.
From high-tech caregiver and client identification systems to new billing systems, the industry is rapidly catching up to its assisted living facility counterparts.
Receiving Personalized Care With all the Comforts of Home
With the healthcare industry continuing to grow and evolve, we’re happy to say that the elder care sector is growing along with it. Deciding how to best care for your loved ones as they age can be a difficult decision that’s often wrought with guilt and feelings of sadness.
While some seniors are best suited for assisted living facilities, it’s nice to know that there are other options in the form of in-home care and that it’s not reserved for just the wealthy.
As U.S. healthcare policies and Medicare begin to recognize the benefits of elderly care at home, more and more American seniors are enjoying the option of staying in their own homes and maintaining the comfort and familiarity that they’re used to.
The Future is Looking Bright For Seniors
As the baby boomers begin entering into their senior years, they and their loved ones now have more choices than ever for the extra care and attention they may need as they age. As the industry continues to grow, evolve, and prioritize comfort and quality care, aging individuals and their families can now enjoy more freedom and choice without needing to go into debt.
Call us today for a consultation on your elder care needs.