by Doreen Redfern
director, payson regional medical center home health agency
Next month, the members of the home health care community across the country will celebrate National Home Care month. This is an opportunity for all Americans to take a moment and appreciate the contributions of those "quiet heroes" in our communities, who enter the homes of the sick and the dying each day and bring treatment, education and hope.
National Home Care month is an opportunity to raise public and political awareness of the invaluable role that home care and hospice workers play in the lives of millions of Americans, and also in the economy of our country.
Home care does more than just provide high quality health care services in the comfort and dignity of a patient's own home; home health care saves millions of dollars by delaying and often avoiding more expensive institutional care.
National Home Care month offers us the perfect opportunity to turn our attention from fear to caring. Americans have always been the most caring nation on earth and will continue to do so.
In 1995, American health care experienced a major paradigm shift. For the first time in history, more Americans were treated for chronic illness than for acute illness.
Today, as Americans continue to live longer, there is an ever-increasing need to provide long-term health care solutions. Home health care is without a doubt, a fundamental building block of America's long-term care solutions. It is the "heart of American health care."
Every American is affected in some way by the efforts of those indomitable spirits who care for those of our citizens who cannot care for themselves. In the month of November, every American should take a moment to honor the contribution of America's home health care and hospice workers.
I hope that as you gather with family and friends next month for Thanksgiving, you will recall that home care and hospice professionals have continued to provide loving care to our patients, grandparents, aunts, uncles and neighbors and will continue to do so.
If you know someone in need of care, call your local home care agency. You can count on them to be there when you need them most.