More than 12 million Americans rely on home health care each year, according to the National Association for Home Care & Hospice. An estimated 1.45 million people received hospice services and approximately 38.5 percent of all deaths in the United States were under the care of a hospice program in 2008, according to the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). Visiting Nurse Service and Affiliates (VNSA) joins these national organizations and other home care and hospice agencies throughout the country in celebrating National Home Care and Hospice Month during November. Hospice of VNS is also celebrating its 30th anniversary and the 15th anniversary of the opening of the Justin T. Rogers Hospice Care Center on Ridgewood Road in Fairlawn.
"Caring for the sick, elderly and dying in their homes truly is a privilege for us," said Karen Talbott, President of VNSA. "Home care and hospice professionals, volunteers and modern technology make it possible for people to stay in their own homes, regardless of their condition."
This month serves as not only a celebration of home care and hospice professionals, but also as a means of increasing public awareness about home care and hospice choices available in the community. “As the nation’s 77 million Baby Boomers reach retirement age and adult children are caring for their chronically ill parents at home with increasing frequency, home care and hospice will play a major part in the future of health care in this country,” says Ms. Talbott.
Home care and hospice services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance companies. Home health care can reduce the overall costs associated with an illness, since it can oftentimes reduce hospital admissions, readmissions, and emergency room visits.
Researchers at Duke University have found that hospice reduces Medicare costs by an average of $2,309 per hospice patient – while patients with a life-limiting illness and their families experience the benefits of quality care. Additionally, the study found that Medicare costs would be reduced for seven out of 10 hospice recipients if hospice was used for a longer period of time. And, quality of life would be enhanced.
A 10 minute educational video on hospice is now available on VNSA’s website, www.vnsa.com, which tells the story of a local family’s experience with Hospice of VNS and how it impacted their lives. Hospice of VNS produced the video to create awareness about hospice care and explain how hospice improves quality of life.
Date Updated: 08-DEC-2010