Celebrating Our Heroes: Savoring the Achievements of the Past and Shaping the Future
October 19, 2016 02:55 PM
The theme for the National Association for Homecare and Hospice annual meeting, to be held in Orlando on October 23-25, is Celebrating our Heroes: Savoring the Achievements of the Past and Shaping the Future. The theme looks back to the beginnings of NAHC in 1982, when only about 20 percent of the American public knew what home care was. Thirty-four years later, the public is far more informed about home care and passionate to see access to it expanded to all Americans.
“Thanks to NAHC and all of us working together, the number of homecare agencies has increased from about 3,000 when NAHC was created to more than 35,000 today,” says NAHC Chairman Denise Schrader. “Support in the Congress was then limited to a few people and now has grown to include the great majority of both parties. The leadership of the Republican and Democratic parties have both embraced home care and technology as the best answer to dealing with the needs of the massive 78 million-strong baby boom generation.”
Schrader also notes that the number of Americans served by homecare has increased from a few hundred thousand to more than 14 million every year and employment in the industry has increased from less than half a million to some three million nurses, aides and therapists. More than $100 billion is spent on homecare and hospice in America each year.
The theme of the 2016 annual meeting is to acknowledge those vast accomplishments, but assert that it is merely prologue. When you consider the aforementioned 78 million baby boomers, plus the 63 million Americans currently served by Medicare and the 12 million living with disabilities, about half of all Americans today or in the near future will need home care services. NAHC will meet those needs through action. “We must grab life by the lapels and bend it to our will,” says Ms. Schrader. To quote Mahatma Gandhi, “We must be the change we wish to see in the world. Those who attend the annual meeting will learn how to accomplish this feat.”
The speakers at the annual meeting have been selected because they know how to manage difficult times and how to transcend the problems we face and coming out even stronger than before. The educational sessions at the annual meeting will provide practical ways that homecare and hospice executives can help their organizations prosper in the years ahead.
As the theme suggests, the ultimate solutions to our problems lie in honoring the nurses, aides and therapists, the executives who hire them and to applaud their selfless devotion to helping others live lives of dignity, respect and independence.