Avoiding hospital visits saves patients, providers, and government aid programs a whole lot of money. More importantly, we shouldn’t lose sight of how avoiding hospitalization benefits the patient. No one wants to be transported to the emergency room if they can avoid it and stay at home instead, safe and healthy.

What a Nursing Home Study Teaches Us About In-Home Care

A recent study by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services found that a 17% drop in preventable hospitalizations led to $50 million in savings. During a four-year experiment, participating long-term care facilities were given training in order to treat certain conditions in their facility instead of transporting patients to the hospital.

These results are possible because long-term care facilities employ medical staff licensed to treat certain issues, such as those related to diabetes or asthma. It simply makes more sense for the “doctor in the house” to treat patients who live there. Nonmedical home care obviously differs, because workers are not licensed to perform medical tasks. However, home care workers can provide preventative health services for seniors who are able to safely live in their homes given some assistance.

Staying Home from the Hospital

A well trained home care worker will help prevent medical emergencies, such as falls. She or he will assist the client with activities of daily living and keeping up with healthy habits. Finally, a reputable home care agency will train workers on how to respond to emergencies. They will know when a health issue is beyond their expertise, call the appropriate medical care, and provide safe transportation if an ambulance is not needed.

For people with dementia, waiting around in the ER to be seen can be incredibly disorienting and stressful. In fact, waiting around in the hospital to be seen is a disruptive, stress-inducing event for anyone regardless of cognitive ability. Preventative care in familiar surroundings is far more preferable than costly treatment in a hospital if it can be avoided.