Medically challenged children often require ongoing care to treat their conditions. This can be particularly stressful on the family. Medical expenses add up quickly, and the time it takes to bring children to and from doctor appointments and hospital stays can take up a large portion of the schedule. One option a growing number of families are turning to is long-term pediatric care.
There are several conditions that may produce a need for children to receive ongoing pediatric care. These include:
- Premature Children: Premature babies, defined as infants born more than 24 weeks prior to their due dates, are not fully developed. This can lead to complications that may require treatment for several months or even years.
- Children with Neurological Conditions: When there is dysfunction in the brain or nervous system, it can cause the child to have physical and/or psychological problems.
- Children with Respiratory Conditions: Kids who have respiratory problems often experience strong side effects, such as coughing, sneezing, runny noses, restlessness, and irritability.
- Children who Depend on Respirators and Feeding Tubes: With kids who depend on various types of medical equipment need to have this equipment installed by a medical professional inside the home if they choose in-home care.
The Advantages of Long Term Pediatric Care: Many families appreciate receiving pediatric care at home because it allows the child to work one on one with the health professional, ensuring that the child receives the personalized attention he/she deserves. In addition, children who receive long-term care are typically much happier than those who have to spend a lot of time in a facility. Home is where they are most comfortable. Being surrounded by their family, it is an environment that is most conducive to health and wellness.
Another major advantage to in-home care is convenience. When you have a medically challenged child, there are countless hours during the week that go into planning for medical visits. First, you need to schedule your child for visits when the facility has openings, and hope these times fit into your own schedule. If they do not, you need to rearrange things so they do.
Next, you need to get your child up in the morning, bathed, dressed, and ready to go to his/her appointment. This can be a major chore in and of itself, especially when you are dealing with a child whose mood is somewhat unpredictable. Once you have the child ready, you need to spend time driving them to their appointment, waiting around until the health professional is available to see them, then spend more time after the appointment driving them home.
With long-term pediatric care, these issues are no longer a concern. The home health agency schedules visits at times that are convenient for you. All you have to do is have your child dressed and ready when the health professional arrives. This saves you countless hours during the week as well as transportation costs going to and from each visit. It is this convenience factor that is a major reason in-home pediatric care is quickly becoming the preferred choice for families with medically challenged children.