According to a national survey commissioned by Fresenius Medical Care North America, there is a significant gap between the desire and the ability of Americans with chronic kidney disease to age “in place,” which the survey considered to be the ability of adults to live in their existing homes or communities despite patient age, income or physical mobility.
“With adults living longer than ever before and a looming shortage in caregivers, it is critical for the health care community to commit to a future where older adults can age on their own terms,” Bill Valle, CEO of Fresenius, said in a press release. “This is why our organization is leading efforts to provide more access to home therapies and connected health that will allow individuals to thrive in the settings where they feel most comfortable.”
According to the release, the survey included 2,750 patients with CKD and their caregivers. Results showed 82% of patients with CKD had a strong desire to age in place, but fewer than half of respondents noted believed they could realistically achieve their goal.
The survey found 86% of caregivers see aging in place as a goal for adults they care for; however, 53% were concerned about patients needing specialized health care and 48% were concerned about patients coping with everyday needs in their home.
Respondents indicated that the main three factors influencing their ability to age in place were social determinants of health, presence and ability of one’s caregiver network, and perceived quality of care.
“This research further demonstrates the importance of addressing social determinants of health to improve patients' quality of life and the chances for aging in place successfully,” Felicia Speed, corporate director of social work services at Fresenius Kidney Care, said in the release. “It also suggests we must continue to help educate patients about all the resources now available for people to receive care in their own home.”