Parents of medically challenged children have to cope with numerous challenges. When a child has a severe illness, injury, long-term disability, or special needs, he/she may be hospitalized for an extended period of time. This is hard not only for parents and siblings, but for the children as well. In recent years, a growing number of families have chosen in-home long-term pediatric care to help alleviate many of these issues.
The Hidden Costs of Hospitalization: When a child is hospitalized on an ongoing basis for medical issues, it can turn the lives of everyone involved upside down. In order to be with their child as much as possible, parents have to travel to the hospital day in and day out. In some cases, when the hospital is a significant distance from home, parents choose to stay overnight in a hotel or even obtain temporary housing so they can be near their child.
The financial costs involved in this process can be staggering. There is the cost to travel to and from the hospital, food, and lodging or temporary housing. Not to mention all the time parents miss from work and the disruption this creates in their schedule. But there is another cost that those in this situation incur that is not talked about as much; the emotional price the medically challenged child pays.
When a child is spending untold numbers of days in a hospital, they are away from all the things they love. Though parents may make every effort to be with them as much as possible, it is often impractical for siblings to come along, and bringing pets into the hospital is usually a non-starter. Extended family members, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins also have greater difficulty spending time with their loved one.
The Advantages of In-Home Long-Term Pediatric Care: In many cases, children with ongoing medical needs can receive safe and appropriate pediatric care from the comfort of their own home. In-home pediatric care is not possible in all cases, and parents need to consult with qualified medical professionals to determine if this is a viable option for their child.
Children who are able to receive pediatric care at home benefit in numerous ways. Some of the most notable advantages include:
Convenience: For medically challenged children, getting ready for doctor’s appointments and hospital stays can be a major pain. Many of these children are unpredictable in the way they react to certain activities, and it can be a major challenge just to get them out the door and on the way to the hospital or clinic. With in-home care, this grueling routine is eliminated. Since the health professionals come to you, all you need to do is have your child ready for their appointments.
Scheduling Flexibility: Trying to schedule a clinical visit for your child is another difficult task. You need to pick from the times they have available and try to find a time that fits your work schedule, their school and activity schedule, etc. With in-home pediatric care, visits are scheduled at times that work best for you, so there is no need to juggle your busy activities to make everything fit.
Personalized Care: In a hospital environment, a health professional is typically looking after numerous children at the same time. When the care is provided at home, the professional is able to dedicate one-on-one attention to your child. In addition, the home health agency typically sends the same professionals for each visit (as long as they are providing satisfactory care to your child). This allows your child to bond with his/her care provider and build a more trusted relationship.
Safe and Familiar Environment: Perhaps the most important benefit children receive from in-home pediatric care is a comfortable environment in which to receive their treatment. Children love to be at home with their siblings, pets, extended family, and all their familiar surroundings. Being able to receive care in this type of environment greatly enhances their quality of life and allows them to better cope with their ongoing medical issues.