No Vacancy– Elderly Healthcare Demand Sores

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While the title may be a little dramatic, it’s closer to reality than you may think. There is a serious issue on the horizon on care for the elderly and disabled. That is only going to intensify as time goes on. Why is this happening?

Populations In Need of Care

It’s no secret that the baby boomers are getting up there in age. While we knew this was coming, there has been something that has been dismissed, overlooked, and brushed aside. How are we going to take care of all of these people?

The baby boomers are one obvious group of people that will need care. What about the growing number of chronic diseases? Have we thought about the spike in diabetic patients? There are so many different groups of people, not counting the elderly, that are going to need care in the near future.

Nursing homes are usually packed to capacity or at least close. They have to do that to run an efficient business. Beyond just the facilities, we have to take into consideration the caregivers as well.

While getting a CNA license is fairly straightforward, the pay is not always that great. The hours are long, there are last minute mandatory shifts, and the work really isn’t very glamorous. Holding this position myself in the past has given me a better appreciation for those that decide to go into this field.

Care Cuts

After working in home health, I can tell you it is incredibly hard to keep employees. The work is so taxing physically, emotionally, and mentally. It’s stressful and overwhelming at times. With the rapid turnover rate that a lot of facilities see, the future of caregivers is a little sketchy.

The problem with the caregiver end of it is that it effects the whole system. High turn over rates leave facilities short staffed. If they are short staffed the care level is going to decline. Things like activities and such are going to be neglected more often due to not enough time or hands on deck.

This is so important to acknowledge. When the things that are built into care plans go away, you are going to see a decline in health of the patients as well. I really think this is only going to escalate as we have an influx of patients into the system we have in place now.

Other Options

There are other options beyond the nursing home for MOST situations. This is where home health is going to come into play. It is a growing industry that will continue to skyrocket as demand for healthcare increases.

Keep in mind that this isn’t going to work in every situation. In emergency situations, like hospital visits, we are still going to see a major struggle. However, hospitals usually have a better employee retention rate due to benefits, pay, and hours incentives.

What Can You Do

There are so many things you can do NOW to prepare for the time where you or a loved one are going to need care.

Healthy Living

Exercise and a good diet go a long ways. Management of your condition now is a great way to avoid needing care or at the very least put it off longer. There are even some studies that show exercising can give you 5 more years to your life!

Insurance

This one is important. Make sure you go over your insurance. Do you have Long Term Care Insurance? Can you afford to pay out of pocket? Look into if this covers in home care, how much, and how long. Knowing these things in advance will make it easier for you or your loved one when the time comes.

Talk About It

This, I can’t stress enough. I saw so many families drowning in decisions when a loved one needed care. The stress and anxiety was just radiating off of them. There usually is arguments between family members on what is best for the person needing care.

If you have a set plan on what you want to happen in a variety of situations, your family will know what to do and do it quickly. This will allow you to save money, time, and stress.

Why Home Health is The Future

As I mentioned before, I really think that home health care is the future of care. It’s not ideal for every single situation, but a lot more situations than people think. I know that it seems like it’s just for showers and laundry, but it’s so much more.

There are hospice agencies and home health care agencies working together to provide around the clock, professional, and wonderful care for all sorts of patients. In most cases, home health is a great alternative to other types of care and something you should consider now.


Author: Kristine Thiessen

Kristine has been interested in caring for the others since her early teen years. She started out by getting her CNA license at 16 and taking college medical related classes while still in high school. From there, she went on to nursing school where she decided needles and shots were just not for her. Changing tracts, she finished her bachelor's degree in biology with the hopes of helping others. While in college, she shadowed, worked along side, and interned with several different medical offices. After graduating, she worked in a couple of healthcare positions before settling in to managing a home health care company. This is where she found her real passion. She loved everything from the increased and lengthened independence to the one-on-one care. Seeing all the different medical fields opened her eyes to the benefits and drawbacks of different ways of helping others and treating them. Her main focus now is creating a safe environment in client's homes to help keep their independence as long as possible. Through Home Health Gear, you will find numerous articles pertaining to medical equipment you need in your home to handy gadgets to make life just a little easier for the elderly and disabled. These are accompanied by opinion pieces by Kristine and medical professionals guest posting.

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