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House Calls, 21st-Century Style

The house call could be making a comeback. The WSJ reports on new options for bringing health care for the elderly back into the home and elder care communities:

Nine out of 10 Americans say they want to grow old at home and keep living in their communities as long as possible, according to AARP. Home-health providers are rushing in to meet the demand.

But there are things to consider when looking into care at home—including the number of limitations a person is struggling with, whether they have supports in the community and whether the home itself is suitable. New advances in home care are allowing more people to remain in their homes because of telehealth and apps designed to keep track of an elder person’s medication compliance and comings and goings, says Steve Landers, chief executive of VNA Health Group, which provides home-health services.

Telework technology can make it easier for adult children to take care of their aging parents, and telehealth technology can make it easier for doctors to monitor elderly patients or conduct virtual “home visits.” Moreover, other developments in med tech will increasingly allow nurse practitioners and home health workers to provide in-person care at a lower cost than doctors can. While significant legal, financial, and cultural challenges remain, technology is making it easier than it has been for a long time for end-of-life care to be “in and by” the home.

[Image of nurse visting a patient from Shutterstock]

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  • lukelea
  • Jane the Actuary

    Technology to enable seniors to stay in their homes, and avoid nursing homes, is great. I find myself watching the Xfinity home monitoring system commercials and thinking, “great, let’s sign mom & dad up for that.” But when it comes to helping the elderly stay in the family home, especially with stairs and outdoor maintenance, we need to be more pragmatic, and try to move to an attitude that moving to a condo (with elevator) is not a defeat.

    • Jim__L

      Moving to a condo is not what people want to do, so it IS a defeat.

      There’s no getting around that.

  • Jane the Actuary

    Oh, and where’d the image come from? Looks European to me.

    • f1b0nacc1

      The photographer (Miriam Doerr) is based in Germany, so I suspect that you are correct.

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