Long-Term Pediatric Care: Choosing Between a Facility and In-Home Care

Parents taking care of children with disabilities often have difficult decisions to make. One of the most important decisions is where the child will receive care. Typically, parents must choose between a facility and having the care administered at home. There are advantages and disadvantages to each; and ultimately, the choice comes down to what is best for the child and family.

The Advantages of In-Home Pediatric Care

Receiving care at home can offer several benefits for medically-challenged children and their families. These include:

Convenience: With in-home pediatric care, there is no need for the parents to travel back and forth to a facility to visit the child. Instead, qualified health professionals visit the home on a regular basis to provide the necessary care. This eliminates the need to schedule hospital/facility visits around work and other activities, making life far less stressful for the parents.

Individualized Care: When receiving long-term care in a medical facility, the child is typically one of several children the health professional is responsible for. When the care is delivered at home, the child receives greater individual attention, which is very important for children with special needs. The level of personalized care available with in-home pediatric care is difficult to duplicate at a hospital or facility.

Lower Costs: The cost of 24/7 care in a medical facility can add up very quickly. And when pediatric care is provided on a long-term basis, the expenses could be tens of thousands (or even hundreds of thousands) of dollars over time. In-home pediatric care can be provided at a fraction of the cost of a facility, which helps keep family medical costs under control.

Increased Family Participation: When the child is receiving long-term pediatric care at home, it provides an opportunity for the family to have greater involvement with the child. Because there is no need to go to a facility, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles and other extended family can come to visit on a regular basis. This allows them to participate (even in small ways) with the care, and be around the child more often.

Enhanced Quality of Life: Ultimately, the decision on long-term pediatric care should come down to what is in the best interests of the child. This means putting the child in an environment where he/she is comfortable, is surrounded by loved ones, and can still receive quality care. In-home care gives the child the right environment to grow, thrive, and enjoy the quality of life he/she deserves.

While in-home pediatric care has several advantages, this option may not be suitable for all circumstances. For example, some conditions are highly complex and require specialized handling and/or specialized equipment. In such cases, receiving the care at home may not always be practical.

To determine which long-term pediatric care option is right for your child, it is best to check around for available resources within your community. Speak with a reputable in-home care agency about what level of care they can provide, and if this is a viable option for you, and talk to area medical facilities about what they can provide. By thoroughly examining your options, you will be able to make the most informed decision for the benefit of your child and family.