Health Crisis Faced by U.S. is Brought to Light During National Home Care & Hospice Month
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Barbara D. Woolley
Washington, D.C. (October 31, 2012) Our country is facing a crisis that is summed up in two numbers: 5 and 50. They stand for the 5 percent of patients who account for 50 percent of rising health care costs that threaten to cripple federal government and states. During National Home Care & Hospice month this November, NAHC is shining a light on the benefits of home care and hospice and the golden opportunity ahead to increase access to home care.
<> The themes for this year are:
Home Health Care:
Celebrating FreedomQuality Care at Home
Taking Care and Compassion to the Next Level
The Right Care at the Right Place at the Right Time
Home Care Aide Week (Nov. 11-17):
Celebrating Love in Action
Many of our countrys seniors and disabled oppose the idea of being placed in a nursing home or assisted living. And they shouldnt have to be there, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a 22-year-old law that bans discrimination on the basis of disability. In 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that people who live in institutions like state hospitals and nursing homes, but could live successfully on their own, have a civil right under the ADA to get their care at home.
Home care is the answer to that costly 5 percent of Americans who suffer from multiple, chronic conditions. By keeping them out of hospitals and in their homes, home care saves money and supports an even greater cause.
Home care nurses, therapists and aides are the troops in the last great civil rights battle of our time, that to guarantee people the right to get the care they need at home, said Val J. Halamandaris, President of NAHC. They combine high tech with high touch as they do what is best for the patients they serve.
The latest data from the Department of Labor (DOL) shows that home care has boomed as America ages and the baby boomers begin entering their golden years. Registered nurses, home health aides, and personal care aides are among the top five occupations projected to see the largest increase in jobs by 2020 as more people need their services than ever before.
The Affordable Care Act has put forth several initiatives to support aged and disabled people in their homes. The Community First Choice Option assists states with the costs of in-home programs for people who would otherwise wind up in institutions, and the Balancing Incentive Program increases federal matching grants in states with less coverage for home and community-based services.
In 1999, when the U.S. Supreme Court issued the Olmstead decision, they articulated a constitutional right to home care, said Halamandaris. The present health care system is geared toward acute care when what is needed is more coverage of chronic disease. What home care and hospice offers patients is great care that preserves their dignity in the comfort of their own homes.
Hospice is based on the belief that every life matters and on giving state-of-the art medical care that comforts and eases pain. When medicine can add no more days to your life, hospice can add more life to your remaining days. Hospice turns illness into an inner journey by committing to the highest quality of care. Hospice uses new technologies to speed up its response to patients needs, gives bereavement support, and offers public education on end-of-life care.
For more information on the National Association for Home Care & Hospice – National Home Care and Hospice Month, and Home Care Aide Week (November 11-17, 2012), visit www.nahc.org.
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is a nonprofit organization that represents the nationís 33,000 home care and hospice organizations. NAHC also advocates for the more than two million nurses, therapists, aides and other caregivers employed by such organizations to provide in-home services to some 12 million Americans each year who are infirm, chronically ill, and disabled. To learn more about NAHC, visit www.nahc.org.