Home healthcare versus Hospital care for elderly patients

Most people assume that the best way to care for our elderly is to place them in a hospital or nursing home.

But did you know there are many reasons for encouraging seniors to recover at home?

Home-based health care in India is gaining traction and is poised for transformation.  It is fast catching the attention of entrepreneurs and investors and becoming an organized, technology-led industry with standards and protocols. Rising ageing population is fuelling rapid growth in home health care services sector in India.  The market for home healthcare in India has grown at a CAGR of 18% to reach US $6.2 Billion this year. India is home to the second-largest geriatric population in the world. India is home to some 87.6 million people above the age of 60. Home healthcare has emerged as the imminent solution to India’s elderly care woes.  Need for a personalized care for chronic and lifestyle-based diseases, changes in the traditional family system and rise of nuclear families are contributory factors to requirement of home nursing.

Here are a few very key differences between home health care and nursing home care/hospitalization:

  • Recovery: being with loved ones at home
    It is a fact that most seniors will recover much faster if allowed to stay in their homes when possible. Whether it’s a serious procedure, terminal illness, recent surgery or even psychological trauma, being in the home with unlimited access to loved ones offers the senior family member the best chance for a full recovery or sense of well being. Since no one enjoys being in the hospital for any length of time, home health care nursing can be a life-saver so the patient can recover at home.
  • Economical
    It goes without saying that providing nursing care at home is far less expensive than paying full-time room and other services at hospitals. Home Care saves 20-50% cost as compared to regular hospital treatment depending upon the services taken. Home Healthcare has the potential to replace upto 65% of unnecessary hospital visits in India, and costs upto <20% incurred on hospital costs. In these cases, there is usually a family member who is helping with the daily chores and tasks, while the home health care nurse can help administer medicines, give baths, and help provide any therapy needed.
  • Latest Medical Technology
    The age in which we live has produced rapid advancements in medical technology. This technology allows more and more patients to receive certain therapies at home, rather than having to be in the hospital. Procedures that require a skilled nurse would include such things as dressing changes on wounds, hygiene and personal care, help with proper diet, some medical procedures and the administration of medications that would normally require the patient to be in a clinical setting. A home health care nurse can be worth their weight in gold!

Few of recent home healthcare technology innovations:

  • Mobile technology partners with artificial intelligence to guide patients through therapy treatments at home.
  • For Alzheimer’s patients, there is a tool that detects when they are having a difficult time with a specific daily task. The artificial intelligence reacts to emotional cues from the patients, using a microphone and camera equipment installed in the home. It then guides the patient through the task.
  • Another technology, called a “tremor spoon,” evaluates patients with Parkinson’s to evaluate and monitor symptoms.
  • Barcode Medication Administration (BCMA), the software was designed to improve medication administration accuracy and to generate online patient medication records. The application was created by the Eastern Kansas Health Care System and the Colmery-O’Neil VA Medical Centre. The nationally implemented Barcode Medication Administration software enables users to document electronically the administration of medications at the bedside, or where other points of care are involved. Barcode technology and real-time network connectivity are used to improve the accuracy of medication administration.
  • More Freedom and flexibility
    This may seem obvious, but there is certainly far more freedom and independence for seniors who stay in their own homes, rather than having to be hospitalized. Friends and family are able to visit them. They’re able to eat on their own schedule and create a sense of normalcy that works for them. In-home therapy provides them with the opportunity to progress in their own time.
  • Flexibility and normal lives for family members:

Since nursing homes often have rigid schedules and routines, being at home also allows for much more flexibility for both the senior and the family members. The family members can go about their normal lives while the home nurse looks after the patient. This translates to less stress for everyone!

  • References:
  • The Benefits of Home Health Care vs Hospital Care, July 04, 2017 By Aaron Nelson
  • Home Healthcare Market Scenario in India, November 3, 2018 Hospaccx