With more Americans aging, the demand for healthcare services delivered in the home is growing. In fact, this year, more than 11 million Americans will utilize home care services. November is National Home Care Month and we want to celebrate it with these patients and honor all the compassionate caregivers that make a difference everyday for our nation's seniors.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) estimates that the total national expenditures for healthcare in 2006 were $2.1 trillion (16 percent of the gross domestic product) and is anticipated to increase to 19.6 percent by 2016. More than just providing excellent care where and when patients need it, home health care has proven to be one of the most cost-effective and desirable treatment options available to seniors. According to government statistics, the average cost per day for a hospital stay in 2006 was $5,036 and the average cost per day in a skilled nursing facility was $535, while the average cost of a home health visit was $125.
Obviously, there is a time and place for health care to be delivered by the caring professionals in an inpatient setting. But, home heath care is very viable option for many seniors that are struggling with a chronic illness or recovering from a recent hospital stay and want their necessary services delivered in the comfort of their homes.
As we prepare for Thanksgiving and recall our many gifts, please remember the home care professionals who make a difference every day for our nation's seniors.
Donna Chisholm, Director of Professional Services, Caretenders Shelbyville Branch