Do you have a disability, chronic disease or other health condition? Have you considered what the future may bring regarding your care? National Healthcare Decisions Day, celebrated on April 16, is the perfect opportunity to consider all your options – including in-home care.

Groups and organizations nationwide recognize National Healthcare Decisions Day with events and programs. Originally started in 2006 as “Virginia Advance Directives Day,” it encourages citizens to consider their future healthcare wishes. In 2008, it evolved into “National Healthcare Decisions Day,” largely through the efforts of Nathan Kottkamp, a Virginia-based healthcare lawyer. Years of experience showed him the painful situations that can happen when people fail to make their healthcare wishes known.

Disability or degenerative illness? Plan ahead

For those who have a degenerative condition like ALS, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s or other dementias, National Healthcare Decisions Day is an excellent time to take stock of your health and plan for the future. You and your loved ones will have to adapt as your condition progresses, and you don’t want to be surprised when changes happen.

Whether you have Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Muscular Dystrophy, Huntington’s Disease, Cerebral Palsy or another chronic illness or disability, you should know that you’re not alone: Six in 10 adults in the US are living with a chronic disease, and one in four Americans is living with a disability according to the CDC.

Benefits of in-home care

For many, remaining at home while receiving quality medical care is preferred. It affords greater independence, quality of life and the opportunity to stay in close contact with family and loved ones. Plus, studies show it costs less than a facility would cost — up to half as much in a single hospital stay.

There are other benefits to planning for in-home nursing care as your condition progresses, including:

  • Greater independence
  • Privacy and dignity of home
  • Familiar routine
  • Flexibility to adapt care to when it is needed
  • Personalized care changes when necessary
  • More peaceful and comfortable surroundings
  • A team of dedicated providers


As your needs change, so does your care

Initially, you may need assistance with essential homemaking and chores like laundry, cooking, bathing and dressing.

As your condition progresses, you may need more care and treatment assistance. Private duty nursing (PDN) allows those needing long-term care to receive the same quality medical care they would receive in a hospital while remaining at home. Private duty nurses can assist with the following:

  • Ventilator and tracheostomy care
  • G-tube care and management
  • Diabetes management
  • Seizure management
  • Oxygen management
  • TPN infusion
  • Administering medications and therapies

Visit our PDN page to learn more about private duty nursing and Maxim’s approach to PDN.

Planning for long-term care

The reality of living with a long-term or degenerative illness is that some things can be planned for, both pragmatically in terms of writing down your wishes and financially preparing for them. However, most Americans fail to plan for the future: Forbes reports that nearly 70% of 65-year-olds will need some form of long-term care in their life, including care at home or in a facility. Long-term care services can cost up to six figures a year, and unfortunately, many middle-income adults are unprepared.

The costs are even higher for those living with long-term health conditions like degenerative or progressive illnesses. Having a plan in place affords valuable peace of mind and allows spouses, children and other loved ones to understand how to allocate finances.

Do your research to determine how much care costs and how you will meet those needs. There are various ways to pay for care—read our How to Pay for Private Duty Nursing and Financial Resources for Family Caregivers for more information.

Maxim Healthcare Services provides a range of in-home care options, including personal care, respite care and private duty nursing. Reach out to your local office to learn more!