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The New Trend in Hospital-at-Home Care: How It Will Impact You

A woman in a wheelchair smiles at her daughter as she receives hospital-at-home care.

No one wants to spend any more time than necessary in the hospital. The aim is to get the necessary treatment or procedure over with as soon as possible and move on to recovering. Naturally, the growing trend in hospital-at-home care is one being met with open arms. Imagine being able to avoid:

  • The risk of infection inherent in a hospitalization
  • The bright lights, bells, and alarms that make sleeping difficult
  • The need to share a room with someone else who is ill
  • Institutional food
  • Isolation and loneliness from short visiting hour periods

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 most comfortable and least restrictive environment.

There is nothing to not love about such a program, correct?

The Downside to Receiving Hospital-at-Home Care

Even though the benefits associated with in-home hospital care are incredible, there is one main factor to think about: are you equipped and ready to serve as the caregiver for a loved one who is critically ill? While physicians 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 members of the family to be part of the decision-making process about a loved one receiving hospital care in the home, and also to be made aware of the implications it will mean in their own lives. For example, you will want to think through:

  • 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 in a position to manage medications and ensure they’re taken as instructed?
  • Can you handle getting up as needed during the night to check on the individual, help them to the bathroom, etc.?

Also consider carefully your current commitments and responsibilities: caring for children, taking care of household chores and errands, working outside of the home, along with other important activities including spending time with your spouse, nurturing relationships with friends and other family members, taking part in hobbies and pastimes you enjoy, engaging in healthy lifestyle choices, etc.

It may be helpful to create a quick estimate of how much time you currently have available to care for a family member at home, considering all of the factors above. If it feels unmanageable or overwhelming, seek out help.

Superior Senior Home Care is here to help if a loved one decides to receive hospital-at-home care. We can provide medication reminders, run errands, prepare meals, and take the night shift if you would like, making it possible for you to maintain the healthy life balance you need. Contact us at 805-737-4357 for more information on how we can help with personalized in-home care services in Lompoc, Pismo Beach, Arroyo Grande, and the surrounding communities.

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