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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dr. Mike Magee - Trends Toward "Home Centered Health Care"

The trend toward Home Centered Health is discussed at Health Commentary by blogger, physician, author, environmentalist, speaker and healthcare leader Dr. Mike Magee. He says the U.S. Administration on Aging has a study that shows 81% of the people over the age of 50 would like to avoid nursing home care in their future. Home Centered Healthcare for seniors as they age is a trend he says will enable them to spend their elderly years at home instead of in a facility.

Dr. Magee predicts that the home health industry, already an area of enormous growth, will skyrocket. Improvements to the home such as grab bars in showers and stair lifts will make homes adapted to the needs of elders. New technology will enable people who are at home to have their health monitored.

He predicts that part of the system of Home Centered Health will be having a home health manager, usually an informal caregiver in the family. Treatment and care will someday take place often at home by physician led, nurse directed networks.

The growth in the number of home care agencies, which provide paid caregivers, is part of the trend that I see for Home Centered Health. Already people are putting together a team of licensed medical personnel from home healthcare agencies and a team of caregivers to enable elders to remain in their home. Making the home safe, getting a medical alert system, and adapting the home are already trends that have arrived.

As mentioned in the study above, people prefer to stay in their homes. Long-term care insurance, mentioned in a recent post, is another trend, and can be used to pay for a facility or for home care, thus providing a choice.

Reverse mortgages, which can be refinanced again later, are on the rise as people use them to pay for care, or other expenses, in their elder years.

We can already see many of the trends Dr. Magee predicts taking shape. He says that with patient empowerment, a home health manager (often a family caregiver) and a team of home health professionals the Home Centered Health Care trend will be in the not so distant future.

I will add that today already many people adapt their homes to be suitable for later years. Going from the hospital to the home, with care from licensed medical personnel, such as nurses, physical therapists, and home health aides, is already often a part of the system.

Family caregivers or paid caregivers are also part of the team. The team leader is the family caregiver who acts as the home health manager or coordinator.

2 comments:

Pete said...

I think the home caregiver is always more or less the case manager, whatever title s/he is given. As with so much else that touches caregiving, the people on the team make all the difference.

As home caregivers for my mother, my wife and I worked out a rough division of labor. I did scheduling and organizing. My wife handled meds. We divided meal preparation and doctors' appointments.

For a caregiver who has to do everything alone, I'm not sure a new title per se will be much help.

Kristi Gott said...

Thanks for your comment. Good point about the home health manager. Sounds like you have a good system. Thanks again, Kristi