Exploring the Value of Continuity of Care in Home Care

Stephen Tweed | March 23, 2024 | Research & Trends
By Stephen Tweed What is the impact of Continuity of Care for Home Care Clients and for Caregivers? Over the years, research at Leading Home Care and The Home Care CEO Forum has shown that consumers of home care expect two things; reliability and continuity. They want a caregiver who show up on time as…
Home Care Industry Research

By Stephen Tweed

What is the impact of Continuity of Care for Home Care Clients and for Caregivers?

Over the years, research at Leading Home Care and The Home Care CEO Forum has shown that consumers of home care expect two things; reliability and continuity. They want a caregiver who show up on time as scheduled, and they want the same caregiver every time. Our research of best caregivers suggests that what caregivers expect is consistency and continuity. They want a consistent schedule, and they want to work with the same client every time.

We’ve also found that when the client and the caregiver have continuity of care, and they develop a personal rapport or chemistry, they both stay longer.

New Research Validates our Research

New Research published in the journal Innovation in Aging by Oxford University Press shows that Home Care clients who have the same caregiver on a regular basis demonstrate better health outcomes and higher satisfaction. Here are some excerpts from the study report:

“While home care worker continuity was lowest for clients receiving the most weekly care hours, a range of continuity existed across all levels of care need. Those who were male, older, Asian/Pacific Islander/Native American, cognitively impaired, and functionally impaired had lower continuity. Higher home care worker continuity was significantly associated (p < .05) with fewer falls, a higher likelihood of functional improvement/stabilization, and fewer depressive symptoms.

Discussion and Implications

The finding that home care worker continuity is associated with the health and well-being of home-based long-term care clients underscores the importance of building high-quality relationships in long-term care. Continued efforts are necessary to understand and advance home care worker continuity and to identify other aspects of the home care experience that benefit those receiving long-term care at home.

While home care workers play an essential role keeping older adults living safely at home, home care workers are rarely examined in relation to their clients. We find that continuity in the individual home care worker providing home-based long-term care is associated with important client outcomes including fewer falls, a higher likelihood of functional improvement/stabilization, and fewer depressive symptoms. These findings provide foundational evidence of how aspects of the home care experience matter for clients and point to home care worker continuity as an important marker of home care quality.”

Read the Full Article

Home Care Worker Continuity in Home-Based Long-Term Care: Associated Factors and Relationships With Client Health and Well-Being | Innovation in Aging | Oxford Academic (oup.com)

Implications for Home Care Leaders

What this research means for you as a Home Care leader is that if you can recruit and retain more full time professional caregivers who work consistently, and you can attract clients who want high hours per week, you can build a schedule that provides this continuity. When you have clients and caregivers matched with a steady schedule, it makes life easier for your clients, your caregivers, your schedulers, and your recruiters.

We’ll continue to follow research like this to help you grow your business. We’ll also continue to conduct our own Home Care Industry primary research to gather new facts and data that you can use to make better strategic business decisions.

Home Care Research by Leading Home Care

A big part of what we are doing at Leading Home Care is conducting research to give you information, knowledge, expertise and wisdom to help you grow your business and get ready for the future.

Have a Question?

Ask us. Perhaps we already have the answer from our previous research. If not, we can conduct research help you find the answer.

Home Care Industry Research

Stephen Tweed
Stephen Tweed, CSP, began his journey as a business strategist in home health care in 1982. Today, Stephen is among the top thought leaders in Home Care strategy and management. He has worked with top 5% companies from across the US. He is a sought after speaker at from national and state association events.

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