Aging in Place

The choice to age in place rather than in an institutional setting and the tools to do it successfully.

Aging In Place Services More Important Than Ever Now

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Area Agencies on Aging provide "diversion programs" to keep people living in their homes longer.

Area Agencies on Aging provide “diversion programs” to keep people living in their homes longer.

Aging in place resources grew to new heights in 2013, as more organizations than ever in recent years increased their focus toward enabling seniors and disabled individuals to live independently for as long as possible within their homes and surrounding communities, according to a new survey on aging services, reports Home Health Care News.

Today, there are more than 70 percent of Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) providing what’s known as “diversion programs” to keep people living in their homes longer, an increase from less than one-third that were providing such services in 2008, says the 2013 National Aging Network Survey of Areas on Aging.

The 2013 survey was designed to assess the evolving role AAAs play in the long-term care system, especially when considering their positions in new health care delivery.

AAAs provide a wide variety of services not only for the elderly, but for individuals living with disabilities, too. These services span from healthcare-related programs such as disease prevention, case management, insurance counseling and respite care, to programs specializing in providing transportation resources, preventing elder abuse and transitioning from hospital to home.

Despite the array of integral services these organizations provide for America’s most vulnerable population, demographic trends and funding present several challenges.

By 2030, more than 70 million Americans will be age 65 and older, reports the n4a in its study. Coupling this with the nearly 90% of adults in this age group who want to age in place, federal funding is crucial for AAAs to provide their services for a vastly aging population.

View the full report.


Baby Boomers to Put More Pressure on Home Health Demand

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As the ratio of caregivers to aging family members decreases, more families will rely on paid caregivers.

As the ratio of caregivers to aging family members decreases, more families will rely on paid caregivers.

Two out of three older adults with disabilities who receive long-term care services at home get their care exclusively from family members, yet a significant share of the youngest baby boomers, aged 50 to 59, do not have children who might take care of them as they age, according to a new report  released Tuesday by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and the AARP Foundation.

Currently, just 9 percent of older adults with disabilities who receive long-term care services at home rely solely on paid help, and that may be attributed to cost, said Chris Herbert, acting managing director with the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. The median monthly cost for a home health aide is $2,568 — or $30,810 annually, data show.

Despite the reasons why family caregivers are more common, the ratio of potential family caregivers to those over 80 will decrease from 7- to-1 today to 4-to-1 by 2030, and to less than 3-to-1 by 2050, AARP estimates.

“The family care ratio is going the wrong direction, and is going to put more pressure on other resources of care,” Herbert said.

Those other resources of care, including personal care and home health aides, are projected to see a surge in demand in the coming years, with those professions topping the list of the top 10 fastest growing jobs in America, according to a recent article by 24/7 Wall St.

The growth in employment for home health aides is projected to grow by 48.5 percent between 2012 and 2022, just 3 percent less than the projected growth for personal care aides.

Courtesy Home Health Care News


Choosing a Hospice Provider Resource

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17 questions to consider when choosing a hospice.

17 questions to consider when choosing a hospice.

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization is making it easier for families to search for hospice providers through a new resource tool.

The free worksheet “Choosing a Quality Hospice,” available on NHPCO’s Moments of Life website, gives patients and families answers to questions they should consider when choosing a hospice.

For example, one of the questions asks, “Does the hospice own or operate a care facility to provide home-like care in a hospice residence, hospital or nursing home?” The answer: “This may be important to you if the care needed is complex and/or family caregivers cannot care for the person at home.”

The worksheet also explains that, should a crisis arise, some hospices offer limited in-home support on nights and weekends, while others are able to send staff out to a patient’s home regardless of the time or day the crisis arises.

Along with the worksheet, NHPCO offers other guidance to help people choose a hospice provider. The organization suggests reaching out to a patient’s physician or health care provider for recommendations and calling hospice providers in the patient’s community to find the one best equipped to meet their needs.

Courtesy Home Health Care News

Get end-of-life care resources here.

Access hospice locator here.