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Legislative Viewpoint

Protecting home care services for our seniors

Jim McGovernCongressman Jim McGovernThere is no place like home, and for many seniors there is no place better to live than at home. With retirement on the horizon for many of the Baby-Boomer generation, so is the planning they will do as they continue to age. Home health care is one of the most affordable and comfortable ways for individuals to receive the daily care they need without having to move to a nursing facility. Today’s home health care industry offers one of the most effective and cost-efficient delivery systems of comprehensive, high-quality healthcare services.

Especially important for millions of America’s seniors and people with disabilities, home health care allows them to live independently and receive care in a patient-preferred setting – in their own home.

The home health industry employs a workforce of more than 1.2 million as nurses, therapists, home care aides, social workers and clinicians. Daily, 10,000 Baby Boomers become eligible for Medicare, and we need to continue to build on home and community-based care as a means to take care of our rapidly growing senior population.

With the communication and technological advances over the last several years, the home health community has pioneered leading-edge models and therapeutics to deliver comprehensive, high-quality, patient-centered care across the health care delivery system.

These models lead to better patient care coordination, medication management, disease and chronic care management, and behavioral and preventative education. The innovative approaches of today’s home health care show great promise in addressing many of the concerns associated with disparities in health care and access in rural communities.

For many seniors, the ability to age in place and continue to live a full and independent life are some of their top priorities as they enter into retirement. I hear time and time again from the seniors I talk to that they and their families are more comfortable and prefer receiving care in their own homes when appropriate as opposed to receiving care in an institutional setting. But in order to receive the home care they desire, programs like Meals on Wheels, visiting nurses care, senior day care, and many more are crucial.

Unfortunately, the recent budget released by President Trump guts many of the critical programs that seniors turn to when times are tough and they need some extra help – you can rest assured that I will do everything I can to ensure that these programs are preserved and seniors are protected.

Please feel free to call my office in Northampton at (413) 341-8700, Worcester at (508) 831-7356, or Leominster at (978) 466-3552 if you have any questions or if my office can be of any assistance to you at all, and please accept my best wishes for a warm and pleasant summer!