Geriatric home health care. Conceptual and demographic considerations.
This article has explored conceptual and demographic aspects of HHC and the distinction between formal and informal care. HHC for elderly persons is shown to be mainly an informal, familial activity with important formal professional, skilled, and unskilled components. Formal home health care in the United States has undergone a historic transformation with the rise of third-party payment as a principal, defining force and with demographic and epidemiologic transition of the general population. Recent national studies demonstrate that the principal population group receiving HHC services--the chronically ill, functionally limited, noninstitutionalized elderly--is growing in number and as a proportion of the group with home and community service needs. Although diverse formal service innovations are being explored to meet these growing needs, current involvement of medical professionals in formal HHC emphasizes relatively short-term, post-acute therapeutic and restorative care offered through Medicare-certified home health agencies.
Wieland, D; Ferrell, BA; Rubenstein, LZ
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