Home-based care provides dignity and independence to loved ones

Dec 08, 2023 at 12:22 am by Staff


Numerous studies have shown more Americans prefer to receive care in their homes. A 2021 survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 88% of people prefer to receive ongoing care at home or with loved ones. Yet most Americans aged 40 and older have done little to no planning for future care needs and many are unclear about the options for home-based care available to them.



Home-based care is precisely its name – care provided to individuals in their homes -- and can be customized to each person’s need for support at different stages of life, including:


  • Home health, which provides continued medical care after discharge from a hospital or inpatient facility or as part of a care plan for an illness, chronic health condition or injury.
  • Home care or nonmedical services, like bathing and transportation. Home care provides the needed support so patients can live independently at home as long as possible.
  • Home infusion provides patients with intravenous medicine delivered safely in their own homes.
  • Hospice focuses on an integrated approach to care. Hospice care addresses the patient’s physical health and caters to their emotional and spiritual well-being while reducing pain and discomfort as they approach the end of life.
  • Palliative care is an adaptable, specialized form of medical support dedicated to alleviating the symptoms and stress associated with serious illnesses, terminal or not. It’s not exclusively end-of-life care. Instead, care can be offered at any time, including at diagnosis, during treatment, following treatment or at end of life.



The U.S. health care system is grappling with workforce shortages, overuse of emergency rooms, unnecessary rehospitalizations and rising costs. Home-based care provides a reasonable alternative to the issues facing families and the health care industry today.

In addition to providing a safe and comfortable environment for loved ones, home-based care leads to better outcomes after treatment or hospitalization. Studies have shown patients treated at home were significantly less likely to be admitted or re-admitted to the hospital and had fewer emergency room visits. By enrolling in the appropriate level of home-based care, a person can receive the care they need, at home rather than requiring a trip to the hospital or other site of care.

Home-based care is also a cost-effective alternative to expensive hospital or nursing facility stays. Studies have shown greater utilization of home-based acute care for delivery of care after an emergency department visit for just five conditions could account for annual savings of $3.7 billion in total costs.

Advances in technology have streamlined delivery and accessibility of home-based care. During the pandemic, more Americans used live video, phone calls, text messages and email to interact with their care providers. Innovations like telehealth and remote patient monitoring help provide ongoing support at home between in-person clinician visits by giving providers a real-time snapshot into patient conditions, meaning they can quickly identify an immediate need and react appropriately even without being physically present.



Too often home-based care is overlooked or considered ancillary but the services it provides are integral parts of the overall patient care continuum and can be essential to you or your loved one’s health care journey. From post-surgery rehabilitation to end-of-life care, receiving the right level of care at the right time in the comfort and safety of home is the main reason people report higher satisfaction with home-based care services.

Home-based care providers work alongside you, your family and referring physicians to provide seamless and personalized care experiences. This collaborative approach helps patients and families better manage health conditions and brings peace of mind to their daily lives. For eligible patients, home-based care can offer the same level of support received in health care facilities but with the added benefit of providing care where patients prefer – their homes.

Preparing for future care at home starts with being informed about the different options available. Document care wishes and talk with loved ones about what you or they would want in the event of a major health care episode to ensure the care preferred is received and to minimize stress in difficult moments. Talk with your health care provider and familiarize yourself with care planning processes in your state to take action now.

Laura Templeton is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Compassus, a national leader in post-acute care, providing a full suite of home-based care services including home health, home infusion, palliative care and hospice. Visit Compassus to learn more about home-based care and see if it is the right fit for you or your family.


Sections: Clinical