Want To Use Home Health Care When You Retire? Help Protect It.

Posted on: 18 March 2015

When it comes time to retire, where would you rather live? For most people, the answer is their own homes. As Americans learn more about the available home care services they can use, they increasingly expect to take advantage of those services. But, as need for this field grows, people realize that the system as it stands cannot shoulder the demand. Seniors and home health care workers alike need solutions that new government advocacy can provide. To ensure that senior care in the United States continues to be a viable option, Americans need to support the politicians who work to improve home health care outcomes for seniors and workers in the system.

Increasing Needs

Every day, thousands more Americans cross the line between regular employment and retirement. And over the years, average life expectancy has increased. These two factors, put together, create a scenario in which more people are retiring, but they are also living longer. Last year, US News & World Report noted that about 90 percent of retirees would prefer to spend that time at home, relying on home care services for their special health care needs. Experts believe that home health care also improves the country's bottom line. A senior who remains at home can save the country thousands of dollars a month in Medicare over one who stays in skilled nursing facilities, by providing the majority of their basic care for themselves.

Possible Solutions

If you look forward to using these types of services as a cost-cutting measure, you ought to ask yourself where the money for these programs is going to come from. Many politicians say that you should not have to shoulder the burden on your own, but instead take advantage of government-funded financial assistance for home care services. For example, on February 27, the Associated Press reported that Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf called for significant increases in this area for next year's budget. He plans to add $32 million to the state's Department of Human Services, and another $7 million to the Department of Aging. Wolf said he hopes that this increase in funding will pave the way for the improvement of home senior care in the state.

Protecting Workers

More money for seniors is only a part of the equation, providers say. The other part includes greater wages and benefits for workers, so that a qualified person is there to provide you with the services you need. As the need for home health care workers increases, wages become more competitive. Yet, this field has not provided much protection to workers in the recent past. In the mayoral race in Chicago, challenger Jesus "Chuy" Garcia argued that part of his platform includes a plan to increase home health care workers' wages to $15 an hour, minimum. Workers in other parts of the country also lobby for the ability to receive overtime pay. Given the demands of the job, many employees in the field spend far more than a regular workweek meeting their clients' needs. This increases turnover in the field, which leads providers to offer inconsistent levels of care to seniors.

For most people, living in their homes as they age is paramount. Whatever your age, if you hope home health care is in your future, you should side with the politicians who work to protect it. Get involved with home healthcare by contacting a provider like ComForcare Home Care - Slidell, LA.