The Holidays Highlight the Value of Home-Based Health Care

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Millions of Americans will be able to share Thanksgiving and other holidays with seniors and people with disabilities who are able to live safely and independently in the comfort of their own homes, thanks to home medical equipment, services, and supports.

Homecare also provides tremendous value to more than eight million Americans who require some type of care in the home, says the American Association for Homecare. Home medical equipment and services can be provided and maintained for just dollars a day, which is why homecare is a cost effective alternative to institutional care and is an important part of the solution to our nation's healthcare financing challenge.

Facts about Homecare:

>> More than eight million Americans depend on medical equipment and services at home that treat conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease, spinal cord injuries, severe lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure, sleep apnea, and diabetes. Virtually every type of health care short of surgery can be successfully delivered in the home.

>> Americans would rather receive care at home, according to AARP, than spend time in a hospital.

>> Providers of home medical equipment and services help prevent ER visits and hospitalization, allowing hospitals to discharge and care for patients on a timely basis. The home is the most cost-effective setting for many types of medical care including long-term care and is part of the solution for lowering health costs.

>> Home medical equipment providers serve as first responders to ensure that people receiving homecare are safe in emergencies. Something as simple as a power outage can be deadly for a person who requires a ventilator or an oxygen concentrator. During a power outage or evacuation, having an adequate back-up supply of battery power or oxygen is essential.

The American Association for Homecare celebrates the thousands of dedicated professionals and family caregivers who provide the equipment, services, and supports that enable seniors and people living with disabilities to remain in the care setting that most prefer – their own homes.