Home care provides seniors with the choice to age at home–where most would prefer to be–and promotes peace of mind and wellness for family caregivers. It also reduces our nation’s health system costs by improving health outcomes, strengthening preventive care, and lowering hospital admissions and readmissions. And home care is good for our nation’s economy, creating jobs in a fast-growing industry.
- Preventing Falls and Other Common Injuries: Falls are the number one cause of emergency room visits and the leading cause of injury deaths among seniors age 65 and older People over 65 are twice as likely to suffer a fatal fall at home as anywhere else Falls can easily happen while attempting simple household tasks such as carrying laundry down the basement stairs or reaching for an upper shelf to put away a dish. Caregivers complete these and many other everyday tasks, helping prevent accidents that could otherwise potentially lead to serious injury requiring months of rehabilitative care or even death.
- Keeping Seniors Healthy: Caregivers help seniors stay healthy by ensuring medication regimes are followed—a crucial job considering 40-75 percent of older people reportedly make some kind of error when taking their medications Caregivers also help seniors stay healthy by preparing nutritious meals and helping seniors maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
- Providing Companionship and Personalized Care: A caregiver’s companionship impacts not only physical wellbeing, but emotional health as well. Social isolation is a major problem among aging Americans; 43 percent of seniors report feeling lonely on a regular basis. Senior loneliness is more than just a social problem; it is a serious public health issue. One study found that adults age 60+ who identified themselves as lonely were 59 percent more likely to suffer a decline in ability to perform daily activities and had a 45 percent higher likelihood of dying than those satisfied with their social lives. Companionship helps deter diseases such as Alzheimer’s by keeping seniors mentally stimulated. A study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry found that older adults who described themselves as lonely were twice as likely to develop dementia.
- Helping Seniors Remain Engaged and Connected: Home care is an empowering option for millions of elderly Americans longing to age at home. Transportation is a major problem for many active seniors trying to age at home. A Harvard University study found that 21 percent of older adults miss out on activities they like to do because of driving limitations Professional caregivers can step in and help these seniors age at home by driving seniors to run errands or attend social functions. A caregiver’s care routine includes much more than cooking and cleaning. Caregivers discuss current events, listen to stories, play games, share meals, and provide companionship in many other ways. These professionals’ interests are matched carefully with those of their clients to help ensure compatibility and a stronger likelihood of forming close relationships.
Caring for America’s Seniors: The Value of Home Care