A home care professional using a smartphone to discuss treatment with a patient.

The whole world has learned a great deal of valuable information since COVID-19 caused it to shut down. Many businesses discovered that working remotely actually improved their productivity, while most parents experienced the challenges teachers face every day when the living room became their children’s classroom. New words like “Zoom”, “curbside”, and “contactless” entered everyday conversations. Of all the things the world learned, one of the most revelatory was that home care services are invaluable when it comes to keeping seniors healthy and safe.

When COVID-19 reached our shores, it did more than shut down businesses and schools; it also forced medical practices and doctor’s offices to truncate their hours and limit the number of patients that could access their facilities. Though these policies were vital to preventing exposure and outbreaks, they also left many seniors without access to necessary healthcare. However, home care patients were attended to in the comfort and safety of their residences.

While the COVID-19 has raised awareness of the value that home care service plays with senior health, it has also changed the home care industry in several ways.

Increased Demand for Home Care

Even though the world is starting to reduce restrictions and reopen due to higher vaccination numbers and lower COVID cases, demand for home care services is increasing. There are several reasons for this trend.

One of the many reasons so many are turning to home care is a strong sense of uncertainty. Though the current numbers are promising, no one knows for sure if there will be another surge in COVID cases come fall and winter. That being said, more families want to be prepared for any emergencies. Rather than scramble to solve an issue (like most everyone did at the start of the pandemic), many people want to have home care services in place now.

Another reason home care is gaining demand with families is the increased risk some seniors face in retirement communities, assisted living centers and nursing homes. The number of outbreaks that occurred in these facilities so alarmed residents and family members that many made the decision to make room in their homes for loved ones. While the move helps limit exposure to COVID-19, it does so at the loss of onsite healthcare. These families are now turning to home care providers to help them ensure that their loved ones receive the first-rate healthcare they need.

Since the shutdown also had an adverse economical impact on many, home care has proved to be a more affordable option for families and individuals who suffered financial losses.

Increased Use of Telehealth

Another way the pandemic impacted the home care industry was to increase the usage of telehealth. While home care visits kept seniors safer by lowering their risk of exposure to COVID-19, many patients and family members were still wary of welcoming home care professionals into their home/quarantine bubble. To help alleviate these concerns, many home care providers implemented a telehealth model to provide safe, virtual care to these patients. As this model has proven successful, many home care services are not only moving forward with it, they are also increasing their usage of it when and where it’s appropriate.

More Opportunities

While many industries were forced to reduce their staffing needs or permanently close their doors, the demand for in-home care has led to many new employment opportunities. As the number of seniors and families seeking home care services grows, home care providers will need more frontline help. For veteran healthcare professionals and students looking for a new challenge, a career in home care may be the answer.

If the effects of COVID-19 have led you to consider home care services for yourself or a loved one, please contact us to discuss the many ways Keen Home Care can help!

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