Demand for Home Care Increases in Light of COVID

Senior man sitting on the wheelchair, laughing and holding his nurse's hand

Fear of exposure to the coronavirus is causing many seniors and health providers to prefer home care rather than senior living facilities, news reports say.

In its discussion of non-medical home care, Home Health Care News recently stated,

“The virus has exposed some of the weaknesses of nursing homes and senior living facilities in keeping residents safe. Widespread outbreaks at congregate care centers have inspired family members to pull their loved ones out of those settings and move them back home, where the risk of catching COVID-19 and other infectious conditions is much lower.”

The article also lauded the professionalism of non-medical home care providers in the wake of the crisis:

“Nonmedical home care providers have proven their worth and range amid the COVID-19 crisis, keeping high-acuity seniors safe at home while cutting down on their risk of virus transmission.”

In response to a suggestion for increased federal funding in this area, a spokesperson for the Joe Biden presidential campaign told Forbes recently, “People in nursing homes have been hit especially hard by the coronavirus, shining a bright light on the fact that many would prefer to be in a home or community-based setting.”

But it’s not just patients who want to stay at home, Forbes said. When it comes to home health care (which provide medical services), providers and hospitals are changing their preferences. Forbes said that according to a recent William Blair survey, 81% of physicians responsible for discharge planning now prefer to refer their patients to a home health agency versus a skilled nursing facility, a figure that is up from 54% before the pandemic.

These figures for home health care are surely spilling over to the non-medical home care services.

Skilled nursing at home, as well as more palliative and hospice care are expected to move toward the home, according to Warren Hebert, chief executive officer of the HomeCare Association of Louisiana. This was reported in the NBC News story, “Coronavirus concerns show increased need, demand for home care, experts say.”

NBC News reported that their own data showed that at least one-third of the 90,000 known coronavirus deaths in the United States are linked to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

The Wall Street Journal said that demand for in-home care has risen during the coronavirus. In another article, it said that senior housing communities now face higher vacancy rates, due to both the coronavirus and the increasing use of telemedicine.

That paper also said that the aging-at-home movement, which was “well under way when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, has increased.

For those who are able to get care at home rather than a senior care facility, home care is the answer. Here at Destiny Senior Care, our caregivers and staff follow all state and federal requirements concerning keeping safe during the epidemic. We’ll keep you safe.

To find out if Destiny Senior Care can meet your needs, call us at the number at the top of this page, or fill out the form on our contact page, or click here to set up a phone appointment.