Are You Prepared for Your Caregiving Role in Hospital-at-Home Services?

Hospital-at-home services may make you an instant caregiver.
A woman receiving hospital-at-home services sits in a wheelchair as her daughter assists.

No one wants to spend any longer time than needed in the hospital. 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:

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

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.

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

The Drawback To Receiving Hospital Care at Home

Although the benefits associated with hospital-at-home services are incredible, there is one key factor to bear in mind: 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 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 essential for members of the family to participate in the decision-making process about a loved one receiving hospital care at home, and also to be made aware of the implications it will mean in their own lives. For instance, you’ll need to think through:

  • 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?
  • Will you be able to manage medications and ensure they’re taken as directed?
  • Are you able to handle getting up as required throughout the night to check on the person, help them to the bathroom, etc.?

Also think about your current responsibilities and commitments: 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 friends along with other family members, 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 actually have available to care for a loved one at home, considering all of the factors above. If it feels overwhelming or unmanageable, seek out help.

JFS Care is available to help if a loved one decides to receive hospital-at-home services. We can provide medication reminders, run errands, prepare meals, and take the night shift if you would like, enabling you to maintain the healthy life balance you’ll need. Contact us at 213-383-2273 to learn more about how we can help with personalized in-home care services in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, North Hollywood, and the surrounding areas.