Families sometimes consider sending seniors to nursing homes for more hands-on care as they age. For those fearful of questionable living conditions, neglectful assisted-living staff, and lacking safety alert systems, a home care agency may be the answer to your nagging question: What does this next stage of life look like for me? If aging in place appeals to you, you can seek out services in your area to learn more about your options.
Ultimately, aging in place, or aging at home, has more benefits than people may realize.
For one thing, seniors still maintain their independence and routine when they live at home. They keep all their home’s everyday comforts without losing a sense of security and familiarity.
Families also don’t have to shell out money for room and board at a nursing home. Most importantly, senior citizens, such as yourself, don’t deal with the stress of leaving home and risking exposure to potentially deadly bacteria.
If you’re insistent on maintaining your independence and can’t bear the thought of spending your golden years within the confines of an assisted living facility, you’ll need to prepare accordingly for the obstacles and restrictions of aging in place. Fortunately, a healthy lifestyle lies within the realm of possibility, even for those reclusive seniors with a there’s-no-place-like-home mentality. Not sure where to start? Follow the steps below.
On December 2016, the 21st Century CURES Act was signed into law, resulting in new regulations for the home health industry. The CURES Act mandates the use of electronic visit verification, or EVV, for all Medicaid-funded personal care services. On Jan. 1, 2019, these new federal requirements for EVV went into effect for personal care services.
EVV is a method of utilizing electronic technology to capture point of service information related to the delivery of in-home services, such as:
Type of service performed
Individual receiving the service
Date of the service
Location of service delivery
Individual providing the service
Time the service begins and ends
Types of EVV
There are three ways through which Home Health Care provider companies can comply to the new regulations involving CURES Act. Let’s take a closer look at them.
This type of EVV solution uses a dedicated hardware device which is used to record caregiver’s scan of fingerprints or record voice samples to register visits.
Biometric recognition may seem like a good solution to comply with EVV at first, but this system has some drawbacks. These devices are expensive and each care recipient has to have a dedicated biometric device installed on their premises. It can be an inconvenience to both the business and the patient.
Telephony method is commonly used in the home setting and don’t require the companies to install or service any devices. To record a visit with this method, the caregiver uses a recipient’s landline phone to dial a toll-free number at the start and completion of service delivery.
Based on a recent National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), it was found that almost half of the US household do not have a landline and are rapidly losing relevance. Smartphones have taken over and landlines are becoming obsolete. The decline of landlines makes this option historical and therefore a weak contender as an effective EVV solution.
Mobile technology (phone and tablets)
The modern EVV solution for all types of caregivers uses the app on the mobile devices, specifically smartphones and tablets. Most modern mobile devices have GPS for location-based Electronic Visit Verification via GPS tracking and geofencing.
Smartphones and tablets are constantly evolving and are becoming more powerful, and with increasing affordability of key technologies like mobile apps, sensors and cloud technology, the mobile technology offers to be the most future-proof EVV option.
Mobile technology EVV solutions go far beyond simple proof of visit. These more comprehensive solutions frequently combine mobile applications with back-office portals, providing additional functionalities:
The huge growth of the home care industry in recent years has led to a Catch 22 situation. On the one hand, people are living for longer than ever before and the number of home health aides is growing at a rate far higher than the average for all industries. On the other, the increase in life expectancy means that the number of elderly people requiring home care has never been higher, and even the increase in home care workers isn’t enough to cope with demand. Also, the tightening of licensing regulations will shrink the pool of available caregivers.
In this infographic from Be Independent Home Care, we can see that the home care industry is at a crossroads and faces into a potentially troublesome future. By 2024, the number of home health aides is projected to have grown by 38 percent from a decade previously. By 2020, the global homecare industry is expected to produce revenues of $300 billion, compared to $180 billion in 2014. All the while, the senior citizen population in the U.S. has doubled from just four years ago, with one in five Americans now of senior age.
Where does the home care industry go from here? Quite simply, it needs to keep adding to the number of qualified caregivers – just at an even faster rate than at present. That won’t be easy considering that the current rate is well above the overall average, but unless that rate is maintained, demand will exceed supply and then there really will be a home care crisis. Here, perhaps, is the epitome of being a victim of one’s success.