Home health care and hospice are the affordable choices
Sept. 8, 2022
By Danielle Andersen
For older adults, home health care and hospice reduce costs and improve quality of life.
When considering home health care and hospice, many people are concerned about affordability. A Knute Nelson survey found more than one-third of people who responded said cost was their top concern — and among them, 86% had Medicare.
What many people don’t realize is home health care and hospice can often reduce overall medical costs, prevent costly or lengthy hospital stays and vastly improve quality of life. For older adults, there are many affordable ways to receive home health care and hospice, while keeping medical bills down.
Many of the services provided through home health care and hospice have the potential to lower spending on medical care and improve the experience for older adults by fitting their individualized needs.
Here is a look at the many ways home health care and hospice are the affordable choice.
1. Reduce your spending on medical care
Medicare is designed to help older adults with their medical costs. However, navigating the differences between coverage, as well as insurance plans, can be confusing. For home health care and hospice, Knute Nelson’s experts work with individuals and families to determine their eligibility and coverage.
Some patients choose to pay privately, but around 86% of individuals who contact Knute Nelson have Medicare. Speaking to their team can help you better understand what costs are covered and allow you to take advantage of getting the most from your Medicare benefits and insurance.
The decision to have home health care or hospice is one that often pays for itself — both emotionally and financially.
2. Prevent costly falls
Falls are the top reason adults over 65 end up in the emergency room, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The chances of falling can increase when seniors have dementia, take certain medications, have vision problems or experience balance problems.
3. Monitor conditions before they become severe
Home health care professionals are experts in managing chronic diseases and everyday health issues. They can provide skilled nursing help, such as monitoring medications, checking blood pressure and taking care of wounds to prevent an infection, among other preventative measures.
Having additional care and support for illnesses can help keep older adults out of the hospital and intensive care. They can provide life-changing help for diabetes, asthma and congestive heart failure, among other conditions, to help older adults stay at home and reduce costly complications.
4. Mitigate the surprising cost of social isolation
Studies have found that tailoring care to be more specific to the needs of older adults can have better outcomes and reduce health care costs. One risk factor is social isolation, the lack of social connections on a day-to-day basis. Social isolation can be as damaging to health for seniors as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, according to the government’s Health Resources & Services Administration.
Home health care and hospice address loneliness, which can be a factor increasing physical and cognitive decline. Home health care workers not only provide medical assistance, but companionship as well. Regular social connection is key to supporting overall health and even reducing the risk of developing certain conditions or being readmitted into the hospital.
5. Utilize telehealth for better everyday care
Home health care helps prevent the need for acute care through tests and interventions before serious medical attention is required. On hospice, they can oversee pain and medication management which can keep an individual at home, as well as communicate their wishes to their loved ones.
Modern advances in communication and telehealth have played a vital role in reducing health care costs by allowing individuals to address and express their concerns sooner and more efficiently. Along with telehealth, Knute Nelson uses technology like personal emergency response pendants and medication management devices to keep individuals safe.
Home health care and hospice offer value to individuals and their loved ones, keeping people safe and preventing hospitalization. It’s a decision you almost can’t afford not to make.
Click here for information on affordable home health care and hospice through Knute Nelson.