The Unexpected Challenges of Receiving Hospital Care at Home

By Published On: November 14, 2023Categories: Caregiving, Family Caregivers, Home Care, Senior Care, Senior Health
A senior receiving hospital care at home looks up and smiles at her caregiver.

Do you know how a loved one receiving hospital care at home will affect you?


 

Everyone knows that the less amount of time you have to spend in the hospital, the better. The aim is to get the necessary treatment or procedure over with as quickly as possible and move on to recovering. Naturally, the growing trend in receiving hospital care at home is one being met with open arms. Imagine being able to avoid:

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

Hospital-at-home care helps 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.

This sounds like the perfect care model, right?

The Downside to Receiving Hospital Care in the Home

There are incomparable benefits to hospital-at-home care, but there is a key question to consider: are you ready and equipped to serve as the caregiver for a loved one who is critically ill? While doctors 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.”

Family members should be a part of the decision-making process about a loved one receiving hospital care at home, and be aware of how it will affect them. For instance, you’ll want to think through:

  • Will you be in a position to manage medications and ensure they’re taken as instructed?
  • Are you able to handle getting up as needed during the night to check on the person, help them to the bathroom, etc.?
  • Are you ok with having clinical staff coming in and out of the home at regular intervals?
  • What will you do in the event of an emergency?

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

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

Golden Harmony is available to help if a family member 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, enabling you to maintain the healthy life balance you need. Contact us online or at 919-426-7522 to learn more about how we can help with personalized in-home care services in Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Wake Forest, and the surrounding areas.