Senior Care - How to Provide Elderly Independence

Reasons Why Most Seniors Prefer Hospital at Home

by Stephen Silva

If your elderly parent has a chronic illness, your first idea is to take them to the hospital for treatment. However, some age-related illnesses take a long time to heal, and they would be hospitalized for weeks and sometimes months. Extended hospital stay is terrifying for most seniors as some of them associate hospitalization with death. Living in a hospital setting also limits their social interaction and removes all sense of a normal life. In this context, hospital stays at home might be one way of improving health outcomes, especially for older persons battling terminal conditions.

Why Hospitalization of the Seniors is Tricky

Before having your aged loved one admitted to the hospital, think about how hospitalization might affect them. Studies show that hospital admission of senior citizens not only affects their well-being and quality of life, but it also slows down long-term recovery.

Other effects of hospitalization on seniors include:

  • Cognitive Decline- Once an aged person is admitted to the hospital for a long time, they may experience disorientation, confusion, and agitation.
  • Physical Decline- Prolonged hospital stay may cause further disabilities and new health issues to arise, making the seniors even weaker. Upon discharge, they may not resume their daily routine.
  • Lingering Stress- The massive disruption of routine and isolation causes immense stress that may negatively affect their immune system, significantly delaying recovery time.
  • Loss of Control- When seniors are hospitalized, they start feeling out of control, mainly since others often make decisions for them.

Hospital at Home as the Solution

Hospital at home is meaningfully transforming healthcare for the aged. In recent years, the lack of optimal geriatric care in most hospitals has been a significant concern. Many people feel that hospitalization will only worsen the elderly's condition, increasing their hospital stay.

Thus, the hospital at home model was developed to limit the number of hospital visits for seniors. The main benefits of this model include:

  • Reduced Costs- Compared to traditional inpatient care, hospital care at home reduces medical costs by 19% to 30%.
  • Improved Quality Care- At home, the seniors receive individualized care. Thus, the model significantly reduces the chances of negligence.
  • The elderly maintain their independence- One of the main reasons most senior citizens fear hospitalization is lack of independence. However, the hospital at home model allows the elderly to have input during the treatment process. Also, friends and family have an active role in the entire program.

The Bottom Line

Hospital care at home is a more attractive deal than regular hospitalization. If you choose hospital at home for your aged loved one, you are assured of intimate and uncompromised quality care. More significantly, it provides an opportunity to strengthen family ties.