With the rising cost of health care, and more speci fically long-term care, there is a national push to keep people healthy and keep people at home . This is great news as everyone desires to be healthy and remain at home for as long as possible.

Non-medical home care is an integral part of this healthy at home strategy. Non-medical home care services include assisting seniors with light housekeeping, bathing, dressing, running errands and going to doctor's appointments. It keeps a watchful eye on seniors providing proactive support and also helps them with tasks that may put them at risk for injury or falls.

Here in the Lehigh Valley approximately 15% of the residents are 65 years or older (U.S. Census Bureau). It is no wonder that there are over 80 home care agencies caring for seniors in their homes in the Lehigh Valley alone. The majority of non-medical home care is paid for through one's personal finances. Major insurance and Medicare does not pay for a caregiver to do wash, make lunch and run errands for mom or dad. Medicaid funding is available through the county office of aging waiver program if one meets the needs, financial and other requirements. Access to affordable home care is vital for seniors, their families and our community.

In March 2015, Thrive Media completed its survey and market analysis for the non-medical home care industry in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. The findings were an update to the fall 2014 study that benchmarks key performance indicators for the home care industry. Questions include home care rates, employee compensation, average clients, average billable hours, referral sources and more.

The study revealed that home care rates remained relatively unchanged with only a 1.2% increase in the past 6 months. Most home care companies have been reluctant to increase rates, but many are considering a rate increase for 2015.

Caregiver pay remained the same from the fall of 2015, although business appears to be more brisk showing a 3.8% average increase in weekly client billable hours.
Caregiver issues and acquiring new clients were reported to be the top two challenges. Overall, homecare owners and managers viewed the economy favorably and were optimistic about business this year.

For more information about survey findings or to obtain a copy of the benchmark study call Thrive Media at 855-233-7034.