To be able to age at home is what the vast majority of older people say they want to do. But the question becomes, who will pay for their care as people age? Financial constraints and a caregiver shortfall are all contributing to a crisis in finding and providing care for people as they age. An article in Next Avenue talks about the financial challenges of finding home care and the need for additional community supports that partner with health centers and organizations. The motivation of the healthcare system is to save money by reducing admissions or re admissions to the hospital. This also potentially benefits the consumer by lessening the need for costly care at home. One such idea is Grand-Aides.
Grand-Aides are trained people hired by health systems at no charge to the client to assist with a transition from hospital to home. The goal is to reduce re-admissions to the hospital by making certain patients are taking their medications, monitoring symptoms, and assessing other care needs. Grand-Aides also work in primary physician offices. In primary care these trained Grand-Aide staff take calls from patients to determine what the appropriate course of action is by assessing symptoms. In other cases the Grand-Aides are part of a chronic disease program which reinforces healthy behaviors therefore reducing hospital and emergency visits.
Relying on market forces to help people age at home can’t be the only solution. Communities across the country are trying out creative ways to support their aging friends and families. We will talk more about these trends in future posts. We would love to hear about your experiences with either Grand-Aides or other innovative programs that help people age in place.