Home Health care is a relatively new concept in the Indian scene. However, it has been a part of the American and European health scene for decades now. In a recent workshop held by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council a new truth has emerged – that Home health for senior citizens and people with disabilities can not only help restrain costs, but can provide better health and care for them.
This would work well in the Indian scenario too. Our basic culture restricts us from talking about how to ensure a better life for the seniors or disabled. This results in longer hospitalizations, higher medical bills and disturbing times for families.
Medicine and the National Research Council a new truth has emerged – that Home health for senior citizens and people with disabilities can not only help restrain costs, but can provide better health and care for them.
The fact is that most of the senior citizens prefer to spend their retired lives in their homes. A senior citizen home or a retirement community does not bring them the comfort that their homes do. In such a scenario, Home health care that includes post-surgery care, hospital care and palliative care, helps reduce the physical and emotional trauma faced by any illness. The care options for home care can include medication reminders, family notifications, making appointments, arranging transportation and meal preparations. Sadly people hear about Home Health Care too late in their disease cycle.
How Home Health Care lowers costs:
- Reduction in costs since there is no big facility involved like a nursing home or a hospital. Most of the costs in hospitalization goes for the facilities both used and unused. And the patient bears the brunt of it. Unlike a HHC provider who does not have many overhead costs.
- Cost for a good caretaker definitely is lesser in case of home health care providers. This is also because specialist nurses and caretakers in hospitals come at a premium as compared to similarly qualified people from the HHC industry.
- One can save on time costs since the service provider attaches a nurse/caretaker with the patient for the period of the contract. This in itself is a huge cost saver since the person comes in as and when required and is not needed to be present when there is no necessity.
- One saves on the opportunity cost too since there is a caretaker who would take care of all the needs of the patient.
- As the patient ages, it helps when someone who has been with them through their recuperative phase is with them, reducing the costs as well. Instead of going to a doctor and a hospital, care is taken at home.
- Chronic conditions increase with age and it is better to have a home health care provider than going on a regular basis to a hospital. Since the cost component is less and the comfort component greater, it becomes a win win situation in case of a Home care provider than a hospital.
It’s very important to focus on value and not just costs. And if low cost can deliver higher value, why not. Home Health care is one such intelligent option today!