Great article from today’s New York Times about how much better it is—cost-wise and outcome-wise—to keep and treat patients at home, especially seniors:
“Patients who are treated at home by a doctor and nursing staff who know them intimately and can be available 24/7 are happier and healthier. This kind of care decreases the infections, mistakes and delirium, which, especially among the elderly, are the attendants of hospital care. And it is far more efficient. According to a 2002 study, for the patients treated by the Veterans Affairs’ Home Based Primary Care program, the number of days spent in hospitals and nursing homes was cut by 62 percent and 88 percent, respectively, and total health care costs dropped 24 percent.”
via Bring Health Care Home – NYTimes.com.
This echoes what the aging-in-place Villages have already learned and seniors intuitively know. If you want cost-effective, positive psychological and physical health outcomes, keeping seniors at home and finding ways to deliver services to them there for as long as possible is definitely the way to go.
Interesting article on Senior Homesharing from Nolo.com.
“Homesharing can be a good choice for roommates of any age, but there are benefits for seniors that make the arrangement particularly attractive, including:
- Independence. In many cases, having a housemate enables a senior to avoid or postpone the move to an assisted living facility. However, because potential housemates are not dedicated caregivers, senior home providers wishing to participate in these programs should be in relatively good health.
- Rental income. An additional monthly income can help seniors on a fixed income make ends meet. Rent, if any, is negotiated between home provider and home seeker.
- Household help. Home providers who need help with cooking, laundry, gardening, and other routine chores can choose to reduce the rent or provide housing free in exchange for a certain number of hours of assistance.
- Transportation. Seniors who can no longer drive can request that the assistance their housemate provides includes transportation to medical appointments, the grocery store, and other places they need to go.
- Safety. A housemate offers a measure of safety for an older person who might fall or might not react quickly in an emergency.
- Companionship. For many seniors, someone to interact with on a daily basis is more valuable than the rental income or services they receive.
- Peace of mind. A housemate can provide peace of mind to the senior and his or her family and friends, who may worry about their elderly loved one living alone.
I think there is a local company that matches senior roommates, but can’t remember their name. If you know about it, please write and refresh my memory!