The common perception about long-term hospital care expenses is that they’re not mutually exclusive from nursing home expenditures. However, the prospect of home-based care is piquing the interest of many policymakers. Homecare integrates all-around applications that go into delivering hospital services. These services involve preventing complications arising from daily functioning, personal patient care, and patient rehabilitation.
At first glance, home healthcare may seem to affect the patient’s home life and family positively. In reality, it can be quite exhaustive for the caregivers, bearing long-term effects on their overall well-being. Generally, home-based care patients are elderly and afflicted with chronic illnesses, making it even hard for the caregivers to see any quick improvement in their condition.
Traveling to and administering care at patients homes give rise to safety concerns. For example, some patients could have severe psychological or mental illnesses. While in another case, lack of communication or understanding between the caregiver, patient, and family can disrupt the patient’s care and treatment.
Regardless, home care services are an effective and safe alternative to nursing homes and long-term hospitalization. Indeed, home care is a viable option that you should discuss with your doctor. Below are a few pros and cons of home-based healthcare that might help you decide how to tackle the situation.
In-home care makes it more manageable for family and friends to visit an elderly patient. When coupled with the frequent visits from the home care service team, family visitations create a greater sense of connectivity than in the hospital. This sense of companionship helps combat loneliness and detachment, otherwise prevalent in nursing homes and assisted care facilities.
Besides, home care services further initiate family members to learn some basic tasks of providing patient care. Since family plays a crucial role in consoling patients with love and empathy, many patients feel comfortable getting minor nursing assistance through their family members. However, in some cases, teaching family members could be an exhausting task. For more in-depth insights into the troubles home care workers go through every day, you can try reading the challenges of home care patients blog post from SealSkin.
Autonomy and Independence
As the elderly hold their independence very sacred to them, they can have trouble admitting that they’re struggling. An excellent advantage of home care is that it allows the elderly to continue daily tasks such as feeding, grooming, and walking, without interruptions. Hence, they can live peacefully inside their homes with plenty of independence.
According to research, older patients tend to experience lesser complications and a quicker recovery at home than in a hospital. Home care services can also assist elderly folks in managing and taking their medications. As a result, there’s less possibility of harmful drug interactions and hospital visits that follow such instances.
Family Caregivers Catch a Break
The pros of home-based care are not limited to the patient and caregiver. Your home nurse can assist the patient with eating, bathing, and other daily activities. This assistance provides family caregivers with a much-needed relief by taking some responsibility off of their shoulders. Moreover, a home-based care team can also teach the patient’s immediate family about follow-up care and connect them to the resources to accomplish that. Consequently, the family caregivers can avoid caregiver burnout, feel supported, and stay mentally fit.
Because home-based care saves you avoidable trips to the hospital, it also helps save money. Home care services support the patient in preventing intensive care and nursing home care, which is relatively expensive. Luckily, for those on the eligibility criteria, Medicare and private insurance will cover most of the home-based care costs for you!
Lack of Support
All medical professionals, including nurses, should have a healthy and strong support network they can turn to in times of confusion and need. Many nurses feel like there’s a lack of support in the home-based care environment because of their job’s isolated nature.
Often, older patients may outrightly reject treatment from a home health care nurse and may even despise nurses’ presence in their homes. For such individuals,home-based care is an invasion of their privacy that compromises their independence. Although rare, disgruntled patients can sometimes violently lash out at their caregivers. For instance, an injection may trigger them as it’s a painful incident for some.
A tragic reality is that most home care workers have no control over their workplace conditions, usually someone’s home. Disease-infested pets, poor hygiene, and hazardous waste materials are just some factors that can jeopardize a health worker’s well-being.
Some homes can be incredibly violent, and treating a patient in such homes puts a nurse’s safety at risk. For this reason, home care teams must practice caution and remain conscious of their surroundings, and alert authorities if the situation escalates.
Suppose a caregiver assists in a home without a sharps waste container and administers medication to their patient. In this scenario, nurses can risk a needle stick wound or other injuries resulting from biohazardous waste. It is advisable for home-based care nurses to always carry disposal solutions to avoid such mishaps.
The field of home-based care has recently experienced a revival of sorts. It has garnered public attention due to its potential for reducing expenditures and improving medical outcomes. Being a caregiver to the most vulnerable yet admirable part of our society is no easy feat. This article provided a brief overview of the common advantages and disadvantages associated with home care. Home-based care is cost-effective, time-saving, and promotes companionship. Yet, it compromises the home care nurses’ safety and exposes them to health hazards.