Archive for the ‘Elderly Problems’ Category

Baby Boomers Among Recipients of Home Health Care

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009



Although not yet recipients of Medicare, Baby Boomers are included among those in the United States who receive some type of home health care service. Home health care is not limited to the elderly or the disabled. The home health care industry is on the increase since the decline in the length of hospital stay in the early 1980s, and includes a broad spectrum of patients and conditions.

As members of the 45-64 age group, Boomers comprise 16.4 percent of the total number of home health care recipients, as reported by a recent the National Home and Hospice Care Survey. On the flip side, the typical (informal) caregiver is a 46 year-old woman who spends at least 20 hours per week providing home health care to a parent. Although Medicare pays the majority of all home health care claims, managed care organizations (which includes health maintenance organizations, or HMOs) are beginning to take a larger share of the home health care financing responsibility. In turn, the number of professional home health care providers is on a steady increase to meet the rising demand for services.

Home health care is viewed as a cost-effective medical service for those patients who are discharged from the hospital, or otherwise under the care of a health professional, but need extended care without the specialization of daily visits by a medical doctor. Beyond the cost-effective aspect for both provider and recipient, patients are allowed to receive rehabilitative and individualized care while maintaining much of their independence. Home health care gives the patient the valued opportunity to actively participant in his or her own care and recovery.

Some conditions that are often treated through home health care services include hip and knee replacement, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), terminal illnesses, congestive heart failure, and various psychiatric diagnoses. What has been determined is that for those patients who take advantage of and utilize home health care services for their rehabilitative or other specialized care, the need for hospitalization is lessened. The general consensus for those conditions regularly assigned to home health care services is that patients and caregivers both indicate a higher rate of overall satisfaction with their care.

Regardless of whether the patient’s health condition is temporary or terminal, recipients of home health care services have fewer hospital stays; and, for those who do require hospitalization, the length of stay is significantly reduced.

Home health care will likely affect all of us in one aspect or another. Are you a recipient of home health care, or are you a home health care provider? What do you feel are the benefits of home health care? Tell us what you think at is a social networking site connecting the Baby Boomer generation. Share your thoughts, rediscover old friends, or expand your mind with brain games provided by clinical psychologist, Dr. Karen Turner. Join today to discover the many ways we are helping Boomers connect for fun and profit.