Telehealth helps keeps seniors aging in their home

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs available to home health and personal care aides nationwide is rising must faster than any other occupation. The number of jobs in 2010 were 1,878,700 and will increase to nearly 70 percent before the year 2020.

Home health aides who work for agencies that receive reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid must get a minimum level of training and pass a competency evaluation or receive state certification. Training includes learning about personal hygiene, reading and recording vital signs, infection control, and basic nutrition. Aides may take a competency exam to become certified without taking any training. Aides can be certified by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC).

Now to the population that will need home health and personal care services – People need some assistance, but they don’t necessarily need to go to a facility home. Fortunately, with telehealth solutions and home healthcare aides, more seniors are able to age in place at home than ever before.

Families that look into home healthcare for their elderly loved ones will have many choices available from homecare agencies. The important things to look for are qualified caregivers that use a telehealth system, and an agency that puts safety first. Telehealth systems make it easy for agencies (and family members) to track the daily activities of every senior, ensuring that special care is being taken to do things right from monitoring to dispensing medications.

Home health aides face a number of challenges. Many clients don’t appreciate having a caregiver in their home, even if family members or their physician tell them it’s necessary. Home care agencies can make a note in telehealth home care system which clients have trouble accepting their current arrangements. When a caregiver clocks into her shift, she’ll get a reminder from home care software that tells her to let the client dress himself, but to help him with his meals.

As Baby Boomers age, the number of home healthcare and personal care jobs in the health care support sector will continue to increase. Telehealth is ready to meet the demand by providing an easy to use home care solution that families and agencies alike can trust.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Home Health and Personal Care Aides, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home-health-and-personal-care-aides.htm (visited September 27, 2012).