Caregivers Seek Home Medical Services for Cognitively-​Challenged Patients

The growing number of adults caring for family members in the home points to an increased need for home health services. A new report published by the Public Policy Institute and the United Hospital Fund (UHF) details the millions of people with serious mental illness, cognitive conditions and chronic physical problems who are being cared for at home. In most cases, the demands on caregivers exceed their abilities.

This new report contains startling statistics. 9.6 million U.S. adults struggle with serious mental illness. Millions more suffer from cognitive impairment and struggle with physical limitations which mean they must rely on family members for assistance with the activities of daily life. The problem is that few of these family members have been trained to provide the help their loved ones need. Caregivers find the following situations particularly difficult to handle:

  • Incontinence
  • Wound care
  • Medication delivery
  • Special diet adherence

Caregivers frequently encounter problems with a ‘relative’s lack of cooperation’ when it comes to getting the patient to take medications.

Nearly 2/​3 of caregivers want to help their loved ones with behavioral and/​or cognitive conditions take the proper medications and follow a proper diet because they believe these services will keep the person out of an institutional environment.

Experts believe these caregivers need more training and support in the home environment in order to perform the tasks that are critical to the well-​being of the patient.

Consumers who are age 55 and older over-​index in their intended use of home medical services. These consumers are also more likely than average to pay for certain health and wellness services. For example, nearly 30% will visit a physical therapist in the next year. And 30% are also planning to see a podiatrist in the next 12 months. The consumers also have a higher than average rate of planning their funeral or burial expenses in the next year: 17.7%.

Marketers may want to reach these consumers through traditional media. At least 47% have taken action as a result of a radio ad they heard in the last 30 days. This is 100% higher than average. And newspaper ads (in any format) have caused 47% of these folks to take action as well, a rate which is 59% higher than average.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports in AdMall.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.