As more of the U.S. population reaches retirement age, the already-substantial home health care industry is set for further growth. Brands with a full continuum of care, like BrightStar Care, stand to benefit from these trends, while continuing to cater to the needs of younger demographics as well.
Consider these statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau and Pew Research Center:
- In 2020, there will be 56.1 million Americans aged 65 and over. This number is projected to grow significantly.
- The number of Americans 65 and older is expected to grow from 73.1 million in 2030 to 80.8 million by 2040 and continue to increase to 94.7 million by 2060
- In just 11 years, all baby boomers will be older than 65 years of age
- Senior citizens will outnumber children in the United States by 2030
- 1 in 5 Americans will be retirement age by 2030
- Generation X will begin turning 65 in 2030
The aging population shows no sign of slowing thanks to a combination of factors, including advancements in medicine and better health habits. Because of these trends, Americans are also living longer. The increasing number of older Americans with longer life spans means there’s a greater need for help with daily activities and loneliness. Yet, many older Americans want to age at home.
This is all places mounting pressure on the health care industry, including doctors, hospitals, insurance companies and patients.
At the same time, there’s growing pressure on adult children of baby boomers and the silent generation (born between 1925 and 1945). The kids of the oldest living generations often struggle with caring for their parents. Many grown children will attempt to provide the care themselves – but will not be able to handle the anxiety and stress that goes along with the responsibility. The stress of providing care increases when aging family members require more skilled medical care. It’s then that family members providing the care experience caregiver stress, which is brought on by the emotional and physical strain of caring for another person. If not managed, the tremendous amount of stress can lead to health problems, such as depression, weakened immune system, risk of chronic diseases and more. Presumably, there will be more cases of caregiver stress among younger family members as younger generations grow, too.
However, the home health care industry is set up to relieve the pressure felt by all key players in the health care industry, as well as older Americans and their children.
Home Health Care to the Rescue
Home health care agencies are meeting the demand of aging Americans who want to age at home with either companion care, personal care or skilled medical care. Here’s how:
- Continuum of Care Offers Smooth Transition
While there are home care agencies meeting demand in one or two areas of care, BrightStar Care provides caregivers for all three concentrations, offering clients a full continuum of care. This eliminates the need to search for a new home health care provider families experience when the aging parent, grandparent or spouse enters the stage of life where they need skilled medical care.
By providing a full continuum of care, the transition for clients and their families is seamless. BrightStar Care provides continued care – from companion through skilled medical – so families can rest easy with the single home health care provider they trust and can continue to rely on.
- Home Health Care Assists Doctors and Hospitals
Home health care agencies that provide skilled medical care are beginning to utilize clinical intelligence – the gathering and analysis of data to improve the delivery of care – which helps refine the care even more. It provides consistency from physicians to home health caregivers, which bends the curve on outcomes to the positive because everyone’s doing it the same way, which relieves some pressure on physicians because everyone involved is on the same page.
The home health care industry also relieves the pressure on hospitals, allowing those facilities to focus more on acute care. Patient preference plays a part in this, with most senior patients preferring to convalesce at home. Home health care provides that option and allows hospitals to shift skilled nursing services to home health care agencies[i].
- Less Expensive and Better Outcomes
It’s universally known that hospital stays are expensive. But more people are realizing that home health care options are less costly and yield better outcomes[ii]. This is welcome news for insurance companies, patients and families. Typically, homes have fewer germs than hospitals, so the chance of infection is low. Homes are also less disruptive than hospitals, so there’s more opportunity for needed rest. Plus, people are simply more comfortable at home, so their outlook is better.
Home health care agencies, such as BrightStar Care, which offers skilled nursing care, free up hospitals to tend to patients in more critical condition. The federal government is even recognizing the benefits of non-skilled home care, allowing some companion and personal care services to be covered by the Medicare Advantage program[iii].
As the health care industry grows and experiences more demand, the role of home health care will continue to increase. BrightStar Care is well-positioned to provide the services sought by families and their aging loved ones, especially those delivered through the full continuum of care model. BrightStar Care is also set up to relieve the strain experienced by health care providers.