November 14, 2023 by Dean Bellefeuille

A caregiver provides hospital-at-home services for a senior client.

It’s safe to say that we all want to spend as little time in the hospital as possible. The aim is to get the necessary treatment or procedure over with as soon as possible and move on to recovering. Unsurprisingly, the growing trend in hospital-at-home services is one being met with open arms. Imagine being able to avoid:

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

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.

That sounds almost too good to be true, right?

The Downside to Hospital Care at Home

Hospital-at-home care comes with so many benefits, but there is one main factor to bear in mind: are you prepared to step in if a loved one becomes critically ill? While physicians and nurses visit the home and are available by telehealth sessions for questions, the majority 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.”

When you receive hospital care at home, it is important that members of the family are a part of the initial decision-making process to start the services and to be made aware of the implications it will have in their own lives. For instance, you’ll need to think through:

  • Will you be in a position to manage medications and ensure they are taken as directed?
  • Are you able to 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?

Keep in mind what you currently have on your plate: caring for children, taking care of household errands and chores, working outside of the home, as well as other important activities including spending time with your spouse, nurturing relationships with other family members and friends, taking part in pastimes and hobbies you enjoy, engaging in healthy lifestyle choices, etc.

It may be beneficial 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 all feels like too much to manage, we’re here to help.

At Home Independent Living is available to help if a loved one chooses to receive hospital-at-home services. We can provide medication reminders, run errands, prepare meals, and take the night shift if you’d like, allowing you to maintain the healthy life balance you need. Contact us online or at (315) 579-HOME (4663) to learn more about how we can help with personalized in-home care services in Syracuse, Camillus, Clay, Fayetteville, Salina, and the surrounding areas.