By 2030, the US population is expected to be approximately 360 million, of which 74 million or 21% percent will be 65 years or older. Now, consider that currently less than 1.4 million people or 4.5% of today’s population live in nursing homes. “Frankly speaking, there will not be enough nursing homes or facilities to house and cater to this largest and fastest growing segment of our population,” maintains Dr. Cleamon Moorer, Jr., President and CEO of American Advantage Home Care. So, where will our senior citizens most likely age or receive health care in the coming years? How about “at home,” or “in place?” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines Aging in Place as the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level. Let’s explore the CDC’s key points of focus in its vision for aging in place.
HOME HEALTH CARE SERVICES HELP IN PROVIDING SUPPORT FOR PATIENTS
Achieve Activities of Daily Life (ADLs)
• Mobility. Home health care provides physical therapy and occupational therapy services to homebound patients.
• Medication Management. Skilled home health care nurses help patients to take medications on time and to crush or break medications for easier consumption.
• Nutrition. Many home health aides prepare meals for home-bound patients and a Certified Nutritionist is a value-add offered by many home health care agencies.
• Hygiene. It is the responsibility of home health aides and certified nursing aides to bath, wash, and help home-bound patients with toileting.
• Companionship. Private duty agencies can offer companionship, and many skilled home health care workers become the extended family and close friends of home-bound patients.
Income & Affordability
• Over $100 billion has been annually spent on home health care in the United States since 2016. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) / Office of the Actuary by 2026, nearly $173 billion will be spent annually to provide care and support to close to 70 million US senior citizens.
• Medicaid, Medicare, and Medicare Advantage plans cover the costs of skilled home health care services.
• Long-term care insurance can be used for home health care services and interventions.
• Reverse mortgages, mortgage refinancing, and other long-term investment vehicles are often used to support health care expenses in later years.
• The cost of in-home health care is far less than the costs associated with long-stay hospitals, specialty hospitals, and private nursing facilities.
Independence & Comfort
• 90% of senior citizen’s polls prefer to age at home.
• Seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia thrive in familiar environments such as the home.
• Telehealth visits, monitoring, and care is delivered now via a virtual delivery by home-visiting physicians and health care professionals.
• Young people suffering from chronic illnesses and who are homebound, do not belong in nursing homes.
• A home is still considered to be one of the greatest investments a couple, family, or individual can make. Should a home’s full utility have an expiration date for its owner(s) who worked tirelessly for decades to pay for it?
Safety & Reassurance
• Greater protection from contagion while home. (By contrast, nursing homes were ground zero for the COVID-19 pandemic.)
• Physicians sign and oversee the orders and prescriptions for home health care services.
• Many home health care providers provide the assistance of psychiatric nurses and therapists under physician orders and recommendations.
• Diagnostic tests, x-rays, and various medical procedures can be performed in the comfort of home.
• A home can be hazard-proofed and evaluated for fall risks and other dangers as a covered insurance benefit.
The CDC’s vision for Aging in Place is the most achievable, economical, practical, beneficial, and valuable modality for senior care in the long run. Census analysts predict that the senior citizen population is and will continue to be the fastest growing segment for years to come. By 2050, 83+ million Americans will be at least 65 years-old. Dr. Moorer concludes, “The future of health care is in the home and there is no better place to age with dignity, affordability, independence, comfort, safety, as well as the ability to thrive during their golden years.”
Cleamon Moorer, Jr., DBA, is President and CEO, American Advantage Home Care, Inc.
His home health care agency has served thousands of patients throughout metro Detroit.
American Advantage Home Care, Inc., (AAHC) was founded in 2012 in Dearborn, Michigan, which is located just outside of Detroit, Michigan. Today AAHC is a Joint-Commission accredited, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) certified home health care agency which provides skilled nursing, hospice, rehab, and specialty care services to nearly a dozen Michigan counties. In June of 2019, Dr. and Mrs. Moorer acquired it through their Detroit-based start-up company, Partners in Wellness Management, LLC. AAHC has diversified and expanded its client base over 1,000% since the Moorers took the helm.
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