Balancing Care and Life: The Pros and Cons of Hospital-at-Home Services

A woman provides hospital-at-home services for her aging mother.
Hospital-at-home services provide comfort and care, but are you ready to be a caregiver?

No one wants to spend any more time than necessary in the hospital. The aim is to get the necessary procedure or treatment over with as soon as possible and move on to recovering. Naturally, the growing trend in hospital-at-home services 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 which make sleeping difficult
  • Institutional food
  • The need to share a room with someone else who is ill
  • 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 not to love about such a program, right?

The Drawback To Receiving Hospital Care at Home

Although the benefits of in-home hospital care are incredible, there is one key factor to consider: 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 instance, you’ll want to think through:
  • Can you handle getting up as needed throughout the night to check on the individual, help them to the bathroom, etc.?
  • What will you do in case 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 directed?

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

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

Serenity Home Care  is here to help if a loved one opts to receive hospital-at-home services. 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’ll need. Contact us at 250.590.8098 to learn more about how we can help with personalized in-home care services in Langford, Sidney, Victoria, as well as the surrounding areas.