Home Health Care--The Cost Saving Plan For Seniors

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Between 2010 and 2050, the older population of the United States, those aged 65 and up is expected to  more than double from 40.3 million to 88.5 million.

 Gary P. Uber

Gary P. Uber

Right now, seniors are approximately 13% of the population and will grow to 20%.

Due to healthier aging and medical advancements, seniors are living longer lives.  In fact, during the last census, more people were counted as 65 and older than for during any other census.

These next four decades, from 2010 to 2050 are crucial to seniors, of which 19 million will reach age 85 and older. 

In 2010, close to 1.5 million were in nursing homes in United States (CDC). In 2004, the National Nursing Home Survey reported that there were 1.7 million beds.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) states that in 2010 more than 3.4  million elderly and disabled persons received home health care from 10,800 agencies.

Decisions will need to be made about the latter years of care—whether through assisted living facilities, nursing home facilities or by using home health care.  Aging Baby Boomers are encouraged to plan now for their 70s and 80s.

Cost is a major factor.

Assisted Living is estimated to cost a person $3,270 a month or $39,240 yearly.

A nursing home stay for a semiprivate room is $207 per day or $75,555 yearly. 

A home health aide is $18-19 per hour.  At six hours a day, five days a week, the estimated cost is $28,000-$29,500.

The Administration on Aging reports that, “Statistics show that at least 70% of people over age 65 will require long term care services.”

Gary Uber, the founder of Family Private Care in South Florida, states that home health care enables clients to “age in place” and he adds, “Studies have shown individuals live longer and enjoy a better quality of life staying in their primary residence for as long as possible.  Home care with a competent home health care company is a more cost effective way to deliver long term care.  There is a place for Nursing Homes and Assisted Living facilities, but with proper education and planning a person can stay home much longer than one might expect.”

 Gary Uber resides in Hobe Sound, Florida.  He began Family Private Care in 1997 after seeing that a need for an agency existed.  Prior to this, he was a case manager and department Director with Martin Health System.  But his interest in health care extends back to the service of his country first as a Navy Corpsman and then a Chaplain with both Navy and Marine Corps units. 

Gary Uber developed his passion for helping others as a child, which led to a career in home health care.  He grew up on Native American reservations in western South Dakota and Montana where he learned the value of sacrifice and service.  He humbly states, “My greatest rewards in life have come from helping others and assisting those less fortunate.  I have led or co-led humanitarian teams to Venezuela, Colombia, Costa Rica, Haiti, and Viet Nam.  I have plans to be in northern Pakistan in October with a group that has been successful in starting schools for young women and health care clients in the northern reaches of Pakistan.  A local friend of mind, Bryan Irvine and I had a medical team on the ground in Haiti one week after the earthquake.  I’ve run soup kitchens, food and clothing banks in the Stuart, Florida area and work from time to time with Habitat for Humanity.”

His business motto is Henry Ford’s, “Serve first and the money will follow.”  “Family Private Care has always cared more about the client than we have the money.” He adds, “We view all life as a blessing from the womb to the grave and our senior population needs our ongoing attention.”

Family Private Care’s primary objective was, and still is, to provide assistance in the home, to assure safety, peace of mind, medical compliance, dietary maintenance, fall prevention and overall assistance with activities of daily living for as long as necessary.   Home Health Care provides such daily assistance as: meal preparation, light housework, live-in care, skilled nursing care, Alzheimer specialists, medication reminders, shopping, errands, doctor appointments, physical therapy, assistance with walking, bathing, dressing, and wake up or tuck in assistance.

Under Gary Uber’s guidance, Family Private Care (FPC) has given clients better care and lower medical costs by “managing client’s health care.” Everything performed by FPC becomes a part of the client’s medical profile.  They have integrated a software system that allows them to bring all the modalities together to provide the care the client needs.  Digitalizing of records is a necessary but expensive implementation; it is a huge client benefit if their complete medical history is available for, doctors, pharmacists, hospitals, rehab facilities and home health care agencies.  As a whole the nation is improving the data collection process, but we have a long way to go because many of the software programs can’t integrate information from other client data collection systems.  We have to keep pushing for a data collection system that is fully integrated.  This will allow a client’s medical provider to see the client’s entire medical history no matter where they are in the country.    

The most effective part of the process for FPC has been to approach a client’s medical care with a holistic mindset which includes staying proactive with fall prevention measures, client education regarding diet, socialization and staying physically active as long as possible. Family Private Care is a leader in the home health care industry and is a model for the nation.

Gary Uber’s Family Private Care has brought 400-500 jobs to South Florida.  Since its inception, the business has expanded to Georgia and Alabama establishing 100-200 more places of employment.

When asked about staying independent and enjoying good health well into later life, Gary Uber says this, “The basics are know your family medical history, get regular medical checkups, eat well, exercise, and get your sleep.  Seriously, this hasn’t changed for many years in health care and there is little excuse to not follow these simple guidelines to at least position a person for a longer, higher quality life. Beyond this, yes, a long term insurance plan is a good idea.  The younger a person subscribes to such plans dramatically impacts the costs of the plan.  There are several very reputable companies out there who sell these products. 

For younger individuals, I am a big supporter of Health Care Savings Plans with a catastrophic rider.  I think everyone under 50 should look into these plans and enroll.  I also believe that Social Security is not a viable retirement plan and that one should aggressively invest in other investment vehicles.  Get into a 401K or simple IRA.  If your employer does not have these programs then invest in a Roth IRA and don’t stop investing until you are of age to extract the monies.  The key is, don’t depend on the government for the present or the future.  Take charge of your health care and your money now.”

An industry for the future as well as the present, home health care is predicted to grow, due to the rising tide of aging Baby Boomers, the cost effectiveness of the program, the availability of insurance for planning needs, and the recognized benefits of seniors remaining in their own homes for as long as possible.

Gary Uber is a Hometown Hero--looking to the future, caring about his neighbors, and creating jobs where he lives.

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