Elder Care at Home
Elders need care at home- It was common until 50 years back that doctors used to visit patients at their home. With the focus of care shifting from patient centric approach to provider centric one, the healthcare delivery system became more institutionalized. Though there were great advantage to this method, the people who couldn't visit these institutions (clinics, hospitals) due to health issues or social issues, became victims of inadequate medical Care.
Elders often become sick and bed bound or home bound. The causes for this are many- Frailty, Mobility issues, being alone and as such barriers to healthcare such as long waiting lines, communication issues and lack of proper follow up. There has been a re-emergence of geriatric home based care following the understanding that continuous health monitoring reduces hospital expenses and complications of chronic disease.
One of the primary advantages of Elder home health care is that it can be customized according to the elder’s needs. Medical home visits can be used to provide everything from preventive medicine to management of complex chronic conditions, and it can be executed by a wide range of medical professionals, including primary care physicians, geriatricians, nurses, physical therapists, and more.
Elder Home Health visits can provide a wide range of services, including the following:
Skilled nursing care
Health and nutrition counseling
In-home doctor visits can be customized according to the patient’s need and may include any combination of the services listed above. By providing in-home health care, house call doctors are able to provide better continuity of care for patients who might not otherwise have access to regular or reliable healthcare services
Advantages of Elder Care at Home
1. Highly customised care plan can be implemented by the multi disciplinary team effectively at home
2. Compliance in medication management and follow up are better
3. Complication of chronic diseases are better avoided. Admissions in Tertiary hospital for such complications are less
4. Re-admissions to hospital post-discharge is less
5. Better quality of life
Note: Author Dr Rahul Padmanabhan is a consultant in Geriatrics and Gerontology based in Coimbatore.