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A Brief History of the Home Care Industry

A Brief History of the Home Care Industry

By the year 2050, the U.S. population of people over the age of 65 is expected to surge to 88 million. There are more than 2 million home health care workers providing personal care and medical services for clients across the country, and the demand for these services is expected to continue to grow as the population ages.

Origins of Home Health

Our ancestors most likely never saw a doctor, and rarely went to a hospital until it was a last resort. Some communities had someone who was–or claimed to be–knowledgeable about the medicinal qualities of plants and other natural substances, and created tonics to treat common illnesses and maladies of the day. Others depended upon their family members or neighbors for treatment.

These caretakers performed treatments of broken bones, cuts, and other injuries based upon techniques handed down from generation to generation. Early-day health practitioners came to the patient in most cases, visiting them in their homes and bringing with them the tools and treatments of their trade. The origins of the word “patient” stems from the English word meaning “one who suffers,” and there is little doubt that those who performed care of the sick and infirm did so in an attempt to relieve suffering.

But even though patient care in the home was often a necessity due to a lack of healthcare facilities and professionals in earlier times, many patients and their families lacked the financial means to pay for services and sometimes bartered with the caregiver. Still, there was a significant demand for these home health services, just as there is today.

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Organized Home Health Care

The demand for in-home health care led to the creation of nursing organizations toward the end of the 19th century, most of which were supported through donors. But even then, there was a struggle over having enough nurses to meet the demand for services, and systems were put into place to determine which patients warranted home health care, and for how long the organization would be able to care for chronically ill patients and remain financially viable.

In 1909, the first home health insurance policy was offered by Metropolitan Life, and within the next 15 years, more than 1 million home health nursing visits were covered under the provisions of insurance policies, indicating the high demand for home health services. As healthcare improved, so did life spans. The danger of communicable diseases was no longer the major threat that it was at the beginning of the decade.

When the Old Age Assistance Act, later known as Social Security, was passed, more families turned to private nursing homes to care for their chronically ill family members. Then in the 1930s and 40s, health care professionals sought a more cost-effective way to care for the chronically ill—those whose conditions were not likely to improve, but did not require the full care provided by a hospital. The problem was that there was no option to help families pay for the services of home care, and it remained an issue revolving around the ability to pay until the 1960s.

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Federal Involvement in Home Health Care

It wasn’t until the 1960s that home health care was included in the Medicare, Medicaid, and Old Age Assistance Act. But because those creating the guidelines assumed there were family members who would be subsidizing home health care needs, coverage for home health care was mandated only for medically necessary, intermittent care for those acutely ill patients who has been released from the hospital. By the 1990s, however, changes within varying levels of government allowed for expansion of home health services, but it didn’t last. The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 drastically slashed Medicare home benefits, and as a result, the number of patient visits were reduced and 3000 home care agencies shut down.

Today, home health care often falls upon family members, and continues to be a major issue for policymakers, especially during election years.

Modern Options

Home health agencies like 24 Hour Home Care offer a variety of services to meet the needs of those who are unable to care for themselves, or who just need some assistance with daily routines, housekeeping chores, meals, or getting to doctors’ appointments. Professional home health agencies can adjust a level of care that meets the needs of their clients and their families, and generally have counselors available to explain the payment and insurance process. If you are seeking high quality companion care around the clock, for the overnight hours, or for a few hours each day, we can help. To make an appointment for a consult or just to get more information on our services, fill out our handy online contact form, and a member of our team will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

24 Hour Home Care IS THE LEADER


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Client Reviews

24 Hour Home Care review summary

Reviewer: Laura
Laura 2020-06-12 via Google
Our care givers are loving, friendly and devoted. They are family! Thank you for being here for us.
Reviewer: Richard
Richard 2020-06-09 via Google
Our Care-giver Mudrakat is a blessing for us, with a big heart, and a very professional approach and skills - she will go far...
Reviewer: Cydney
Cydney 2020-05-26 via Google
24 Hour Home Care offers excellent assistance to people in need of a caregiver. They train their staff well and provide a service of care for seniors, accident victims and those recovering from illness and gives the families peace of mind knowing that their loved one is cared for. I highly recommend this company.
Reviewer: Michelle Martin Del
Michelle Martin Del 2020-05-26 via Google
My experience as a professional Caregiver has been a wonderful experience the staff is very friendly and very helpful. Thank you!
Reviewer: Michael
Michael 2020-04-29 via Google
My wife was hospitalized for over three weeks. When she was discharged from the hospital I needed help at home. I called 24 Hour Home Care on a Saturday and by Monday I had an excellent caregiver helping out. They provided a caregiver for two weeks while my wife was recuperating. I couldn’t have done it without them. They are a great company with excellent people. I recommend them highly.
Reviewer: Monique
Monique 2020-04-13 via Google
Working for a company that is so willing to improve! Makes for a long-lasting employment relationship🥰
Reviewer: Sylvia
Sylvia 2020-04-13 via Google
24-hour care keeps me working I get to care for the elderly which is very rewarding for me.

The Most Trusted Caregivers

The success of our clients and company is entirely dependent on the quality of our Caregivers. We make certain to find and provide our senior clients with the industry’s best caretakers so that have a positive in-home care experience. We submit all of our Caregivers through nation-wide background checks, assessment tests, and verify multiple references. All of our Caregivers are required to be compassionate, reliable, experienced, and above all else, TRUSTWORTHY. We understand that you are entrusting your loved one’s home and well-being with our company, things we take more than just seriously.

24 Hour Home Care® is committed to improving the lives of our senior clients. By assisting seniors with their daily living activities, we are able to keep them at home where they are comfortable and allow them to thrive during this chapter of their lives. Not only do we strive to exceed customer satisfaction, we strive to exceed employee satisfaction. We want all of our Caregivers to be proud and happy to work for 24 Hour Home Care® so that they will provide the best senior home care possible!

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