More than eight of every 10 people who need long-term supports and services receive this care at home rather than in nursing homes or other institutional facilities. And nearly all the assistance they receive at home is provided by family members, not paid aides or nurses. Yet, we know nothing at all about the quality of that family help.
Receiving medical care in old age or securing it for a loved one is a difficult and often expensive choice to navigate. There are many options, paths and plans, to be sure. In the end, however, the choice can easily come down to finding that care at home or in a facility. How does the quality of care compare? Specifically, how good is the care at home?
The answer seems to range from “we don’t know” to an unhelpful “it depends.” With so many people receiving care at home, either by default or by design, it is an important option to understand. A recent article in Forbes, titled “We All Want To Live At Home In Old Age, But Know Nothing About the Quality of Care We'll Get There,” to a look under the hood on this subject.
Most problems are the result of a knowledge-vacuum. There are many levels of oversight for skilled nursing homes or other care facilities. On the other hand, there are few levels for care received in the home. In-home care may be delivered by a loved one, but it may also be delivered by a paid aide through Medicare home-based long-term services or some other program. There has been large expansion in the kinds of services available, but most of us have a hard time figuring out the quality of care available. Be sure to consult an experienced elder law attorney who is “plugged into” the network of care providers.
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Reference: Forbes (March 19, 2014) “We All Want To Live At Home In Old Age, But Know Nothing About the Quality of Care We'll Get There”