The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the many strengths and weaknesses of the global healthcare systems. One of the areas it has brought awareness to is home care. The home care industry delivers services such as doctor visits, nursing services, chronic disease management, bathing, physiotherapy, and non-clinical services.
This pandemic has turned institutional healthcare upside down by limiting access to them as hospitals struggle to accommodate COVID-19 cases. As a result, therapies and elective surgeries have all be placed on hold or interrupted. This pandemic has exposed the problems of many nursing home and senior care facilities. 40% of the COVID-19 deaths in the USA and about 80% in Canada were in nursing homes. Staying home has been the safest option for seniors to protect themselves from COVID-19, which has driven many seniors to home healthcare.
Why Choose Home Care?
Senior care has always been a preferred care option for seniors, even before the pandemic. Many seniors fear the loss of independence and the fear moving away from home. These feelings are understandable. By staying at home seniors are still in control of their decisions and attached to their social networks. Home Care is more personalized and gives seniors a high quality of life.
Furthermore, home care is also a more affordable option. A 2019 study showed when comparing home care to a nursing facility, that home care was associated with an average savings of $4,514 per month. The implementation of telehealth and technology aids also help to bring down costs. A 2016 study found that home care providers who used telehealth technologies saw a 75% increase I overall quality of care and a 63% increase in patient satisfaction.
Governments should revisit home care as it is the safest and most affordable option for aging seniors. This would mean reviewing how the many countries organize and finance their healthcare. This would make home care more accessible for families by ensuring it can be financed by both public and private health insurance companies. Raising subsidy rates for home care will result in higher wages for home care professionals.