By Robert Espinoza: For More Info, Go Here…
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 6 million adults in the U.S. deal with heart failure, which is responsible for roughly one in nine deaths in this country. Heart failure also challenges the health care system and the economy — incurring $30.7 billion in annual costs such as medications, services, and lost work hours, among others.
Home care workers, who serve as the paid frontline of care for millions of older people and people with disabilities, are uniquely positioned to support clients with heart failure, improving health outcomes and potentially reducing costs for the broader health care system.
Unfortunately, our long-term care system does not adequately invest in training, supporting, or maximizing the roles of home care workers to take on this sizable health concern. A new study in the December issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association sheds light on this topic, pointing to possible solutions for the home care sector.
I spoke recently with Madeline Sterling, MD — the lead researcher on this study, and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine — about the study’s findings. How can our country better support adults living with heart failure and their home care workers? Here’s what she had to say.