Home Health Resources

How Environment Affects Health and the Value of Home Care

Your Home Environment 

Every physical environment affects your health for better or worse. In fact, studies have shown that the physical environment of a patient does impact the outcome of their health and recovery, according to the Academy of Architecture for Health.

If you live, for example, near the beach in Florida, the calming waves of the ocean and Florida’s constant tropical breeze may be an environmental element that contributes positively toward your physical and social health.

Comfortable Arrangements

Internal home environments are even more important. The way you designed your home is usually an arrangement you find comfortable. The pictures, the amount of free space, the degree of sunlight certain windows give, the types of paintings on the walls, even the color of the walls themselves all represent choices you’ve made to make your house a comfortable, safe home environment.

The home is a place you can relax. Because of the peacefulnesss of the setting, the home environment is the ideal place for optimum health.

Negative Arrangements

New spaces and settings, such as those of a nursing home, can be at odds with the home one has been living in for years. Understandably, transplantation into a new, foreign environment is one reason many elderly people resist nursing homes.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Florida has about 650 certified nursing facilities, but only 2.3% of the elderly population lives in them. Is there more to it than merely cost and a fear of the unknown?

The Impact on Health

A stressful environment can negatively affect a patient’s health. For example, studies have shown that:

  • Smells of medicine in hospitals fill patients with anxiety, and off-putting odors raise respiration and heart rate.
  • Noise affects hormonal balances, interrupts sleeping regularity, and disrupts weight control. Noise can also trigger increases in blood pressure, heart rate, and blood cholesterol levels. ( Improving the Patient Experience: the healing environment ).

Many of Florida’s elders are long-time residents who have been living in their homes for twenty, thirty, forty years or more. They have made a lifetime of comfort-intended adjustments. Filled with the familiar noises, smells, sights, and foods, their home is an irreplaceable refuge.

The absence of stress at home provides an ideal setting for recovery. It’s no wonder many elders do not want to move away, and so seek alternatives in order to remain in places they feel comfortable.

The Importance of Personal Control

In addition to familiarity and comfort, the home environment also provides an element of personal control, enhancing convalescence. One expert in health and architecture, Paul Stevens, says therapeutic environments offer, among other elements, privacy by allowing “control of intrusion.”

Therapeutic environments offer the patient “individual choice” to exert autonomy and personal control. They offer “maintenance of links to past residential environments and life patterns.”

In other words, they provide similarity to one’s way of living, and contact with friends and family, all of which factor positively toward physical and social health.

A Sense of Dignity

Perhaps most importantly, elderly men and women who are able to remain at home maintain a sense of dignity they often lose when put into nursing homes.

The bottom line is that the real home is the ideal place for convalescence. The familiarity, comfort, and regularity of home cannot be replaced.

Home Care Assistance

In order for elders to remain in their Florida home, they may need some assistance from a home health caregiver. Usually elderly people do not need the full 24-hour support nursing homes offer. It may only be simple bathing, grooming, housekeeping, and other personal assistance that an elder requires.

Our home health care professionals include RNs, LPNs, CNAs, Home Health Aides, housekeepers, and companions. We can give help and care for all levels of patient need.

We work with the patient to ensure he or she receives the care needed to maintain or return to a healthy, happy lifestyle – while retaining the dignity and comfort of life at home.