10 Reasons to be Thankful for Home Care & Hospice

More people die from chronic disease than from acute disease. What this suggests is that the future will be about the management of chronic disease and not acute illness. The number of people going into hospitals will be fewer and they will spend less time there. What will increase by geometric progressions is the number of people cared for at home.

While sheer demographics and increased life expectancy – perhaps the greatest gift of the 20th and 21st centuries – have and will continue to increase the demand for home care services, our community will grow for other reasons, as well. Those other reasons mostly center around the great work done by home care and hospice workers and the unique services they provide.

So, as we begin this holiday season, here are the top ten reasons to be thankful for home care and hospice.

1.     Home care keeps families together. There are few, if any, social values more important than keeping strong families together and this is particularly true in times of illness.

2.     Home care is safer than the alternatives. While hospitalization is sometimes necessary, statistics show that hospitals can be dangerous for patients. It is not uncommon for patients to develop new or additional health problems (about 20 percent of hospital patients develop an infection or other illness) as a result of hospitalization, but those risks are minimized with care at home.

3.     Home care is the most personal care. Home care is tailored to the needs of each individual and delivered on a person-to-person basis with lots of one-on-one interaction between the patient and caregivers. When we care for people in their own homes, we tell them they are special, they matter and they are loved.

4.     Home care involves patients in their own care. In home care, the patient and his or her family are taught to participate in the caregiving by monitoring the health of the patient and taking steps to get well and maintain wellness.

5.     Home care is a much better value. Studies have repeatedly shown that home care is far less expensive than institutionalization. In fact, home care is, on average, 10 times less expensive than a hospital and about four times less expensive than a nursing home.

6.     Home care is more efficient. By caring for people at home, we allow them to avoid room and boarding expenses. In addition, the dazzling improvements in health technology are enabling people to monitor their own health as never before. Thanks to the development of the Internet and other technologies, telemedicine has more potential than ever. What’s more, technology has now developed that make it possible to treat most illnesses as well or better at home than in a hospital.

7.     Home care is the only way to care for some people. In many rural parts of America or even dense urban areas, home care is the only available form of health care. Nurses and aides routinely visit patients in rural areas using unorthodox modes of transportation such as horses, dog sleds and boats.

8.     Home care extends life. Allowing people to age at home not only adds life to their years, it adds years to their lives. Studies by nursing schools and government agencies have established beyond reasonable doubt that home care extends longevity because home care personnel and the intensely personal services they provide assist people not only medically, but psychologically and spiritually, as well.

9.     Home care reduces stress. There is nothing like a health crisis to create stress, not only for the patients, but for their loved ones, as well. Hospitals, with their remoteness, their size and their state of frenzied activity, usually add to this stress. Home care, on the other hand, which is quieter and far more peaceful, has been shown to reduce the stress of patients and their families.

10.  Home care is what people want. Home care is the preferred form of health care for America’s infirm and disabled. In fact, home care is preferred by a margin of 90 percent over comparable institutional care by the infirm. People facing terminal illnesses are increasingly choosing the form of home care known as hospice.

Home care is the oldest and most reliable form of health care, so it is no surprise that America is returning to it. However, home care is also the newest form of health care, as people increasingly prefer it over hospitalization and the advance of medical and other technologies make it possible – even preferable – to treat many maladies at home. The public is demanding that home care become more available than ever and our elected leaders must respond to this demand. NAHC is here to ensure that they do.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! And a special happy Thanksgiving to the millions of nurses, aides and physicians who keep Americans alive, healthy and happy in their own homes. You are some of our country’s greatest heroes.

10 Reasons to be Thankful for Home Care & Hospice

More people die from chronic disease than from acute disease. What this suggests is that the future will be about the management of chronic disease and not acute illness. The number of people going into hospitals will be fewer and they will spend less time there. What will increase by geometric progressions is the number…

Thankful for All the Great People Who Make our Membership the Best in the World

In a letter to all NAHC member sent earlier today, NAHC President William A. Dombi offered thanks to the many people who have gone above and beyond to advance the cause of providing the best quality care in the home in 2020, often during extremely difficult and even dangerous conditions. Among those Bill thanked were:…

10 Reasons to be Thankful for Home Care & Hospice

More people die from chronic disease than from acute disease. What this suggests is that the future will be about the management of chronic disease and not acute illness. The number of people going into hospitals will be fewer and they will spend less time there. What will increase by geometric progressions is the number…

Finding “Beauty in Small Things”

2020 has been a year to remember. It has been challenging, and in many ways heartbreaking. Yet, as the holidays and the season of giving approaches and we take time to connect with our loved ones and reflect, I want to share with you something special that was once shared with me. I encourage you all to find “beauty in small things.”

A few years ago, I was fortunate to have my path briefly cross with an individual like no other. A brilliant statistician, innovative thought-leader, and friend. The day he hired me to work as a member of his research, analytics, and innovation team was also the day that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer. During the time I spent working with him, he shared everything and anything he could. He was passionate about data and ensuring that his work, our work, would also “not just be the numbers but would have an impact.” 

He taught me to be curious, but patient in those years. Shared that laughter was always welcome at the board room table, and to not to take yourself so seriously. He was kind and maybe a little rough around the edges; a model leader, despite not ever wanting to step into that roll. He believed creativity was one of our most important tools in the toolbox. And he made everyone around him want to be a little better than before. 

Most of all Mike Fassino taught me to “find beauty in small things.” In the time before he passed away, he shared his love for nature and the small, nuanced things in the world. He loved the unusual and the unique. Music and food were joyous gifts and should be shared between friends and family. There was beauty to be found in all things, no matter how seemingly small or insignificant. The worn  door on the house at the end of the street with the peeling paint, the caterpillar making a journey across the rock garden, sunlight streaming through the tree canopy, the taste of freshly brewed coffee, all beautiful in their own right.

2020 has been hard, but it has also been beautiful in its own unique way. There has been a lot of laughter in our home. Lots of days where pajamas were worn and ice cream eaten for breakfast. There was coffee on the back porch watching the sunrise, and moments of wonderment watching that same sun set across the horizon and a fire break out across the sky in hues of pink and gold. 

As I stopped to reflect on 2020 and embrace Mike’s words, I realized that 2020, despite its ongoing chaos, has truly been an opportunity. It has been a time to value the BIG, the sacrifices and hard work of our essential workers out on the front lines providing care and service to the most vulnerable. A time to usher in innovation, ingenuity, and creativity as we all work to stay home and stay safe. But it has also been a time to value the SMALL, to value and appreciate one another, our humanness despite our flaws; to be thankful for one another and the unique and wonderful gifts each of us brings. Mike taught me to find and be grateful for beauty in the seemingly insignificant and small, for those small things, those small moments add to our overall life experience.

So, as the chaos of 2020 continues around us, I encourage you remember to enjoy the little things, to find hope in the promise of what is to come and the strength in those who you surround yourself with,  and most of all to find the “beauty in small things.”

  • Emilie Bartolucci, Executive Director, Private Duty Home Care at NAHC