A vast majority of Americans say they want to die at home but is home care a safe and viable option? A recent story in U.S. News & World Report weighs the pros and cons of an issue that’s getting more attention now that Americans are living longer than ever (78.7 years on average) and millions of Baby Boomers are reaching retirement. Even though home care was “viewed as dangerous only a few years ago,” many industry experts believe with the advances in technology, home care should be considered a viable option to assisted living facilities. In fact, there is a growing sentiment that home care is actually the best option because it can be tailored to the individual’s needs while reducing costly hospital trips. But is it as safe? In the past, the biggest fear of home care is, “in an emergency, a loved one will be unable to call for help.” But now with the use of non-intrusive sensors that regularly monitor a patient by collecting data and identifying abnormalities in behavior, a hospital quality in-home monitoring system can alert nurses, social workers or other emergency contacts if abnormalities are detected. Here are some other benefits of home care:
- Home care programs can detect abnormalities early on
- Home care programs can be tailored to an individual’s needs when it comes to prescribing medications, physical therapy and dietary restrictions
- Home care patients are more likely to take an active role in managing their own treatment plans, rather than reacting to situations
The story mentions a new program at Boston Children’s Hospital that uses a cloud-based solution called Open Pediatrics, “which allows thousands of physicians to share knowledge about treatment options for critically ill children. Similar platforms can be employed for elderly populations in home environments.” Read the story here.