To The Editor:
According to the New York State Department of Labor, personal and home-care aides are one of the fastest growing occupations, with the number of employed aides expected to jump 44 percent by 2018 ("Licensed to care: Group addressing need for home health care services")
The anticipated job growth in the home-care industry is an indication of the desire of the elderly, disabled, and chronically-ill to remain in the comfort and security of their own home. It is also a sign of the times as rising health-care costs are driving the need to increase access to cost-effective short and long-term care options like home and community-based care.
A 2009 Health Affairs report showed that states that invested more in home care experienced a 15.3 percent decrease in nursing-home spending, while states that invested less encountered 3.4 percent growth in nursing-home expenses. The report stated that "home and community-based services programs may be one instance in which offering people greater choice also reduces cost."
Home care's cost advantages extend well beyond Medicaid and Medicare. Those paying for home care through private insurance or with their own funds can benefit from well-trained and dedicated home-care staff to provide appropriate levels of care in their home. Home-care providers are experts at coordinating care between hired aides and family members to ensure that loved ones remain safe and comfortable.
To learn more about home and community-based care, or need to find a home care provider near you, please visit www.homecareinfo.org, New York's premier source for home-care information.
Phyllis A. Wang
President of the New York State Association of Health Care Providers, Inc. (HCP), a statewide trade association representing the full spectrum of home and community-based providers