No one wants to spend any more time than necessary in the hospital. The goal is to get the necessary treatment or procedure over with as soon as possible and move on to recovering. Unsurprisingly, the growing trend in receiving hospital care in the home is one being met with open arms. Imagine being able to avoid:
- Isolation and loneliness from short visiting hour periods
- Institutional food
- The bright lights, alarms, and bells that make sleeping difficult
- The risk of infection inherent in a hospitalization
- The need to share a room with somebody else who is ill
Hospital level care at home allows someone whose condition is serious yet stable to receive visits from clinicians and any necessary medical equipment—so treatment is provided in the least restrictive and most comfortable environment.
There’s nothing to not love about such a program, right?
The Drawback to Receiving Hospital Care in the Home
While the benefits associated with in-home hospital care are incredible, there’s one main factor to bear in mind: are you equipped and ready to serve as the caregiver for a family member who is critically ill? While doctors and nurses visit the home and are available by telehealth sessions for questions, the bulk of care falls on the family.
“In the hospital, if something happens, they know how to take care of it,” explains Clare Semling, whose husband participated in a hospital-at-home program. “Now it’s on you.”
It’s important for family members to be part of the decision-making process about a loved one receiving hospital care in the home, and to be made aware of the implications it will mean in their own lives. For instance, you will need to think through:
- Can you handle getting up as required throughout the night to check on the individual, help them to the bathroom, etc.?
- What will you do in the event of an emergency?
- Are you ok with having clinical staff coming in and out of the home at regular intervals?
- Will you be able to manage medications and ensure they’re taken as directed?
Also consider carefully your current commitments and responsibilities: caring for children, taking care of household chores and errands, working outside of the home, and other important activities, including spending time with your spouse, nurturing relationships with friends as well as other members of the family, taking part in hobbies and pastimes you enjoy, engaging in healthy lifestyle choices, etc.
It can be beneficial to create a quick estimate of how much time you actually have available to care for a loved one at home, considering each of the factors above. If it feels overwhelming or unmanageable, seek out help.
Generations at Home is here to help if a loved one opts to receive hospital-at-home care. We can provide medication reminders, run errands, prepare meals, and take the night shift if you’d like, making it possible for you to maintain the healthy life balance you need. Contact us online or call us at 727-940-3414 for more information on how we can help with personalized in-home care services in Largo, Belleair, and Clearwater, as well as the surrounding areas.