Can the UK’s “Home First” Philosophy Work for Seniors in the US?

By Ruby Cemental

Home First is a rapid response network in the UK that helps seniors remain independent in their own homes. The service provides seniors with the ability to age in place by providing health and social care services they need without institutionalizing them. How do they do it? Let's take a closer look.

About Home First

Home First is currently operating in the UK with a high success rate in reducing hospital admissions.The approach to helping seniors has 3 main elements: 

  1. Rapid Response. Key to the success is the rapid response of the health and social care staff. When a crisis occurs, a professional will respond within 60 minutes. Rapid intervention greatly reduces the need for hospital admission.

  2. Case Management. Home First keeps track of a "virtual ward" of people. These individuals are monitored and cared for by a team of professionals. Appropriate care is provided in the patient's home for up to six weeks. This focused care keeps many out of the hospital.

  3. Helping People Regain Independence. Another important role of Home First is to help seniors quickly regain independence allowing for an early hospital discharge. Giving individuals the care they need while in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes.

Can Home First Work in the US?

Bringing the model of care to the US would benefit greatly benefit both seniors the population at large. According to the United States Census, there are over 46 million people age 65+ living in the United States. It is expected that the segment of the population will grow to 74 million in 2030.

Given that most of the multi-facility senior care providers are managed as for-profit businesses, there is a significant savings involved. Besides given the choice, most seniors prefer to live in their own home. Home care can give them that choice. 

HomeFirst has a proven track record of a reduction in emergency and unplanned hospital admissions, decreased need for residential care, and rapid discharges from hospital admissions. But most importantly, this community-based team integrates the health and social needs of seniors so that they are left feeling supported.

Learn more about the UK's hospital readmission program in our guide! Access our free content library by first finding the Caring location near you.

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Tags: Home Care