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HOME CARE SERVICES IN OUR COUNTRY AND THROUGHOUT THE WORLD

Home Care Services

The elderly population increases rapidly in our country as in the world. The demand for health services arising from the chronic diseases treatment of the elderly, the increase in cancer cases and the number of physically disabled individuals being 8 Million and increasing by 150 thousand each year has made the home care services become a novel and promising sector in Turkey. Home care services sector is growing rapidly in the U.S. and Europe whereas the importance of such services is being comprehended better day-by-day in our country as well, particularly as they decrease the high treatment costs. Therefore, it is aimed in our country for the home health care services to be improved.

 

Home Health Care Service

The increase in the number of uncontrolled and unauthorized companies employing untrained illegal workers is one of the leading reasons influencing the home care services, namely the in-home caregiving, negatively. However, establishing the technologic infrastructure and employing physicians and nursing staff is required in order to provide this service in compliance with the European Standards.

 

How do we define the home care services?

Home health care service is a subgroup of advanced healthcare. That service is planned in accordance with the requirements of the individuals who have chronic and permanent disabilities or their relatives in their own environment. Main objectives of home care services are shortening the hospitalization period, decreasing the costs of healthcare services, reducing the complaints arising from the symptoms, minimizing the need of patient for receiving help from his or her social circle and allowing the individual to participate actively in his or her own care.

 

Home care sector constitutes an important part of the healthcare services policy in Europe and in the U.S. What are the practices regarding this matter?

Home Care services are being rendered for years in the US and Europe. There are currently more than 20,000 active home care institutions in the U.S. 5-6% of the overall healthcare expenses is being spent for home caring. That percentage corresponds to a budget of 36 Billion Dollars. Home care services are being provided by the state in countries such as Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and England. When we take a glance at the services provided by the home care institutions, we see the institutions that provide nursing and therapy visit services, in-home infusion, medical device rental services, private nursing and caretaking services and hospice services.

 

Are the home health care services being supported in our country? What are the practices?

Ministry of Health of the Turkish Republic has very important attempts. Home Care units have been established in all public hospitals. This is a very important development. All private health insurances comprise home health care services coverage. This is an important advantage eventhough it is covered for a short period. Home Care Regulations have entered into force in 2005. Private health insurances will pay more attention to the home care sector as the insurance companies notice the growth in that market and the patient satisfaction created by the services. 


What are the factors that make home care services a necessity in our country?

As in the entire world, the leading reason that gives rise to the home care services in our country is increasing the quality and expectancy of life by providing higher quality home health care services while reducing the price of high cost treatments. In recent years, life expectancy increases in our country by the decreasing death rates. Half of the population of Europe is over the age of 40 and it is expected for the elderly population to be two times higher than the population of children in 2060. In our country, it is expected for the total population to increase by 30% and for the population over the age of 65 to increase by 120%, in the next 25 years. In the next 25 years, Turkey will be the second country in the world in which the elderly population rate increases the fastest. 90% of our population over the age of 65 suffers from one chronic disease, 35% from two, 23% from three and 14% from 4 or more diseases.


Cancer cases increase rapidly both in the world and in our country. The number of disabled individuals is roughly 8,5 Million and 150 thousand individuals are added to that count each year. 
Health consciousness, importance of protective healthcare services and private caring services are getting improved day by day in our country. Accordingly, the individuals reveal their demands for fast recovery that is in connection with the healthcare services being rendered in their own environment, low costs and reliable services as well as for mitigating nosocomical infection risk. All those motives creates and develops the sector that provides well-planned home health care service being rendered by the experienced healthcare professionals. Home health care services, without doubt, will avoid unnecessary hospitalization and re-admission rates. It is beyond doubt that the most important contribution will be made to the life quality of patient.


What are the unfavorable facts that influence the home health care services?

The non-experienced and untrained companies, particularly the ones employing illegal workers, must be audited and closed. These people being sent to homes without having a medical checkup cause serious problems on the patients. People usually conceive the in-home caregiving as having the personnel available for 12 or 24 hours’ periods and the initiation of the services at once. A reliable healthcare service must be planned perfectly by an experienced healthcare team. Physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists, nutritionists, social services officers and care givers must necessarily be employed in such teams. The problem on the healthcare professional side is perceiving this sector as a secondary and additional occupation. The institutions providing that service on professional level are able to avoid that type of negativity by the application of continuous in-service training and pricing policies.


What do the patients and their relatives expect from home health care services? We can list those expectations as: A service being rendered with the same quality for 24 hours, Trained and Experienced healthcare professionals, Low and affordable costs, Large professional staff, Maintaining the in-home service with the patient’s own doctor, an institution to be contacted whenever necessary, a comprehensive home health care service.


“Private” home health care service must be rendered with the consciousness and approach that takes into consideration the fact that the problems encountered by each individual are specific to that particular individual. The team that believes in and defend the patient rights, focused on high quality service and adopted the codes of conduct must necessarily be specialized In the home health care services. The team must take actions with the consciousness of the fact that the satisfaction of those who are being served is bound to high quality and reliable service provision and şt must improve and modernize itself by meants of continuous training programs.


Aynur DİK

Medical Center Healthcare Project Director

Home Care Association, President of the Board

03 May 2016
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