Children with complex medical needs require a large amount of attention and care. For parents, this often means untold amounts of time and money spent on repeated trips to the doctor for treatments and hospital stays. The stress of constantly bringing the child to and from clinics and hospitals can become overwhelming. And many parents have a hard time dealing with it all.
In recent years, a new solution has emerged for special needs children called in-home long-term pediatric care. With at-home care, a skilled medical professional visits the home on a regular basis to look after the medical needs of the child. Care can be provided for one or two hours a week all the way up to round-the-clock 24-7 care. The level of care required depends on the specific medical conditions being treated, and can be customized to fit each family circumstance.
Advantages of In-Home Pediatric Care: There are several benefits for special needs children who receive pediatric care at home. These include:
Eliminate Commuting Time and Costs: As mentioned earlier, it is a major pain for parents (or other family members) to get the child ready and bring him/her to hospitals and clinics all the time. In addition, driving back and forth takes lots of time, and costs money to fill up the gas tank. All of these stress-drivers are eliminated with long-term in-home pediatric care.
Flexible Scheduling: Another major pain is scheduling an appointment (typically during business hours) that fits your schedule. With at-home care, the health professionals come at a time that is most convenient for you. This makes it much easier to plan your week and keep all of your other commitments.
Personalized Care: In a clinic or hospital environment, there are several kids competing for the attention of the doctors, nurses, and other professionals. When the care is administered at home, there are far fewer distractions, and the professional is able to provide one-on-one care to your child.
More Comfortable Environment: Many children with special needs have fears and phobias about receiving care in an unfamiliar environment and/or in a place with several strangers around. These concerns can put undue stress on the child and have an adverse impact on his/her ability to cope with the condition. For children in this situation, receiving care in the comfort of their own home can often be the “game-changer” they need to make greater physical and emotional progress.
Greater Level of Family Involvement: Having the family nearby all the time plays a major role in fostering the comfortable environment discussed in the previous point. But this is not only great for the child; it is great for the family members as well. When parents and siblings have some level of involvement with the care of the child, it strengthens relationships and helps the child to bond with family members on a deeper level.
Standards for In-Home Pediatric Care Providers: Many parents wonder if they have to sacrifice quality care in order to keep their child at home. In-home long-term pediatric care agencies are required to abide by federal and state Medicare and Medicaid guidelines in order to become approved, meaning they are subject to strict policies and procedures. These agencies are also required to comply with OSHA standards for the health and safety of their staff. The high standards at home pediatric care agencies are required to follow help allay these concerns and reassure parents that their child will receive the quality of care he/she deserves.