It’s been almost three months since the Corona-Virus has taken a forefront in the United States. You can’t turn on the television or scrolling through social media without seeing it. What does this mean for the medical staff and teams throughout the United States? For the most part, the physicians, health care experts, and the media spend a considerable time focusing on the hospital capacity. Unfortunately, nursing homes received less attention which resulted in a catastrophic amount of deaths. As more families were forced to find an alternative care, home care agencies became the main point of contact for families searching for another source of quality care.
Home care has stepped in to assist the major medical systems with their current shortage of staff. In a sense, home care agencies were a good reason why the crisis wasn’t far worse than what they originally predicted. Nevertheless, what we’ve learned is that home care agencies throughout the United States are more valuable than what they are given credit for. Additionally, home health aides deserve a tremendous amount of credit for being on the front lines. It’s stated that over five million people receive paid home care. This includes, not only older adults, but those with disabilities. Coincidentally, once patients are discharged from the hospital, many people with COVID-19 will need care too after being discharged from the hospital.
There weren’t enough home care workers though. With thousands requesting home care services, home care agencies struggled, but they managed a way to provide assistance in incredible ways that most people overlooked. The hospitalizations decreased with the assistance of home care agencies providing discharged patients with the needed care after the fact. The re-hospitalizations could’ve been far worse.
Nursing homes were hit the hardest. It was one of the weak areas of the medical systems. As someone whose been around nursing homes, I realized how many nursing facilities were short staffed. Unfortunately, they weren’t prepared for the COVID-19 crisis to expose the vulnerabilities that the medical system has currently especially with nursing facilities. Home Health Aides, as an aftermath, assisted nursing home patients who were discharged and required personal assistance. Nevertheless, the short staff situation effected nursing homes more-so than the home care agencies that provided an alternative for families.
The medical team altogether requires compensation. However, I think the home care agencies have earned their rightful place in the medical care system and should be considered an alternative for future crisis especially for families who continued to be concerned for their loved one’s safety.