CNY Homecare Adapts to Shifting Demographics
A home healthcare agency that serves Central New York continues to expand its staff to meet the growing demand for an aging population. In 2010, a Cornell University demographics chart indicated there were nearly 36,000 residents age 50 to 54 in Onondaga County.
Now, it appears this is driving the need for healthcare agencies. Nascentia Health continues to grow with the industry. Vice President of Public Relations Kimberly Graf says that it’s vital to accommodate the needs of aging local residents.
“With homecare growing at the explosive rate that is happening, it’s important for us to be able to serve the growing population,” Graf said. “With the 65 year old rate increasing, the life expectancy rates are extended due to the advances of healthcare and adoption of technology.”
Because of these factors, Nascentia recently hired 23 new employees. Vice President of Human Resources Mary Anne Hankins says a variety of openings are still available.
“We are searching for at least 30 home health aide positions throughout the five counties that we are in,” Hankins said…. “Clinical and home health aides, as well as some administrative positions are opening as well.”
The company continues to offer paid training for those interested in becoming home healthcare aides. The goal of the training is to care for each patient in the comfort of their own home.
“Most people, if you were to interview them, they would tell you that they want to stay at home,” Graf said. “If they’re able to say at home safely, not only do the patients themselves wish to stay at home, but the family members want to see them stay at their home. In many cases, people have lived in the same home for 50 or 60 years. To uproot them out of their home can be kind of traumatic and affect their health adversely.”
However, with the changing needs of baby boomers and seniors, living independently could be a tall task. Nascentia believes training patients is the key to healthy home living.
“A large portion of what they [the clinicians] do with all of our patients, regardless of what we are seeing them for, is education,” Graf said. “That education that we provide really helps patients engage in their own care. I think that is another contributing factor for why they do so well in their home. They are an active participant in their own care.”
Graf adds that despite the phaseout of the Affordable Care Act, she’s confident with growing healthcare demographics, the homecare systems will continue to thrive.
“When you look at the changes that are happening out in the political arena, things are being phased in, they are being phased out, and all the changes that are happening, I think homecare and the importance of it and our delivery system will continue to grow and assume a significant place,” Graf said. “I don’t think that will change. I think most leaders recognize the value of homecare, the importance of the role it plays in protecting the health of those who receive it and the health of those who are going to need it.”
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