National Home Care & Hospice Month highlights the benefits of being cared for at home
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Barbara D. Woolley
WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 1, 2011) Mother Teresa was a hospice nurse and was an example to the world of love, dedication and the importance of caring for those that are sick and dying. One of her favorite expressions was Choose always the hardest way. NAHC celebrates November as National Home Care & Hospice month and remembers her sacrifice and salutes the thousands in the industry that choose to help those that are sick and dying every day.
This upcoming year represents NAHCs 30th year serving the nurses, therapists and home care aides that work the front lines of the last greatest civil rights, one that is waged on behalf of the aged, disabled, and ill in our country. Through home care and hospice, Americans are able to receive care at home, where they can have the freedom and security they deserve.
Progress has been substantial over the 30 years, with 3,000 home care agencies existing in 1982 and 33,000 existing today. Similarly, the number of hospice programs has grown from 59 to 5,000. About 100,000 people worked in home care in 1982. Today, there are more than two million. Some 1.3 million people received home care services in 1982. Today, more than 12 million people receive medical and non-medical home care services, leading total industry revenues to grow from $3 billion to $100 billion. About 20 percent of the public knew what home care was 30 years ago. Now over 90 percent know about home care and support its expansion. These are among the achievements of home care and hospice that we honor this special month.
There is few, if any, more difficult or vulnerable times people will ever face in life than when in home care or hospice, notes NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris. Hospice workers truly lift people up when they need it most, helping them live each moment to the fullest. And what home care workers do when they walk in the door conjures up images from old Western movies when the cavalry arrives, rescuing people from whatever circumstance.
Home-based care is clinically effective, utilizing advanced technologies and helping to cost-effectively manage chronic diseases that account for 75 percent of our nations health care spending. Yet despite this low cost preferred option, the government has planned $12 billion in Medicare cuts to the industry over the next few years and recently the Administration recommended adding co-pays to home health benefits for new beneficiaries starting in 2017.
The themes for this year are:
|Home Care:||Because there is no Place Like Home|
|Hospice:||Graduating to the Next Dimension|
|Home Care Aide Week:||Caring Hands of Home Care|
|Private Duty:||Home Care Your Way|
For more information on the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, photos and stories of amazing professionals, and National Home Care Month, National Hospice Month, and Home Care Aide Week (November 13-19, 2011).
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is a nonprofit organization that represents the nations 33,000 home care and hospice organizations. NAHC also advocates for the more than two million nurses, therapists, aides and other caregivers employed by such organizations to provide in-home services to some 12 million Americans each year who are infirm, chronically ill, and disabled. Along with its advocacy, NAHC provides information to help its members provide the highest quality of care and is committed to excellence in every respect. To learn more about NAHC, visit www.nahc.org.