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Seniors Face More Risks by Refusing Home Care Following a Hospital Stay

Numerous men and women have a difficult time even thinking about a complete stranger coming into their home to provide any number of services. Unfortunately, this mode of thinking (focusing on a ‘stranger’ rather than a home health care aide or other provider) is limiting the number of seniors who actually rely on these services.

Some people overestimate their strength and health and therefore don’t see a viable reason to have someone coming out to them to offer support. Even when family is adamant that this would be a good idea, some of these seniors simply don’t see it the same way, and what they often fail to understand is just how significant the risks to their safety and well-being become when they refuse proper support.

As Judith Graham noted in the Kaiser Health News blog, Leaving Hospital, Older Patients Resist Home Help At Their Peril

“Refusing home health care after a hospitalization puts patients at risk of a difficult, incomplete or slower-than-anticipated recovery. Without these services, older adults’ odds of being readmitted to the hospital within 30 or 60 days double, according to one  study

Why, then, do seniors, resist getting this assistance?

“There are a lot of misperceptions about what home health care is,” said Carol Levine, director of the United Hospital Fund’s Families and Health Care Project, a sponsor of the new report.”

According to a report, about 28 percent of people who are offered home care support when they are set to be discharged from the hospital refuse. Most of these individuals are older adults. While the report is eye-opening, it doesn’t answer some of the most pressing questions, including the reasons why.

Even when these men and women are eligible to receive Medicaid-funded support from a home health care aide, they still refuse. That’s because a lot of these people confuse a home health care provider, who is considered a medical professional, with home care aides. Basic home care support services can assist people with basic daily living tasks, including bathing, cleaning, and so on. Home health care provides a wide array of services, including physical therapy, administering medication, and checking vitals.

For those seniors who may be dealing with a health issue or hospitalization, if home health care services is recommended for a few weeks or other designated timeframe, it’s important that they are clear on what this entails and why it’s so important. That may be how these men and women could make the right decision and reduce risks when they return home.

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