Hospitals are the best place to be if you’re seeking a diagnosis of a certain disease or treatment from an illness or injury. But if you’re confined for several days, nothing beats the feeling of coming home. Some even hire a home health aide to speed up their recovery and reduce the chances of going back to hospital care.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the incredible benefits of recovering at home and how it improves the level of care and treatment for a sick loved one.
Lower risk of infection
One of the common risks of long-term hospitalization is the increased risk of infection, also known as HAI or hospital-acquired infection. Often, patients acquire these infections while they’re being treated at the hospital. Having a disease or any type of illness negatively affects the function of their immunity system. When the body’s resistance is significantly low, they become extremely prone to fungal or bacterial infections.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.7 million recorded cases of hospital-acquired infections cause or contribute to patient deaths every year. Some of the common types of hospital-acquired infection include pneumonia, urinary tract infection (UTI), bloodstream infection (BSI), and surgical site infection (SSI).
Although a home isn’t always a spotless environment, there’s less opportunity for bacteria to concentrate and lower the risk of infection spreading from one patient to another. If you have no choice but to confine the patient to the hospital, it’s crucial to ensure a sterile environment. Check if the garments, linens, bedding, and restroom are well maintained. Use appropriate equipment and product to assist the patient in daily living tasks, such as taking a bath and cleaning the wound.
Sleep is the body’s way of restoring itself after several hours of staying awake. By having quality sleep, you’re helping the body rejuvenate, rebuild, and recover from a certain illness or severe injury.
Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to sleep when you’re sleeping over in someone else’s home? The experience is even worse when staying inside a hospital room. Your home serves as your comfort zone, which explains why it’s easy to have a restful sleep.
There are plenty of factors that make the hospital environment the least place to enjoy a night of restorative sleep. These include the restrictive beds, sound of people talking, beeping sounds of medical equipment, blinding light bulbs, and constant interruptions of the nurse and doctor coming in and out of the room. These factors cause long-term sleep deprivation, which can slow down your recovery process.
Lower readmission rate
A study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital discovered that home care could potentially promote recovery while reducing hospitalization costs. The study revealed that patients who stayed at home had fewer consultations, less imaging (e.g., MRI and X-ray), and fewer laboratory orders.
Researchers point out that patients who recuperate at home have reduced the chances of being sedentary. They’re more likely to move more, which further speeds up the body’s healing process.
If you’re confined to the hospital, your movement becomes limited since you have to lie on the bed all the time. Because there’s no place to hang out, you have no choice but to confine all your activities on the bed, from eating, watching TV, and socializing.
Opportunity for social interaction
Being with your family and having regular interactions with them is an excellent motivator for patients undergoing recovery. If you’re familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, love and belonging are in the third spot after food and safety.
Most hospitals have rules and limitations when it comes to patient visits. Most of the time, you’ll find yourself lying alone on the bed with no one to talk to. Eventually, loneliness and social isolation will slowly creep into your system, affecting the speed of your recovery.
If you choose to recover at home, make sure to balance social interaction and rest when your patient is still recovering. It’s still important to schedule visits to help the patient reengage with friends and family members. You can start by setting up family dinners or movie nights to give them the chance to socialize.
When it comes to making a full, comfortable recovery process, there’s really no place like home. Aside from being in a familiar environment, patients are more likely to be more relaxed and happier when surrounded by their loved ones. Still, nothing can ever replace hospitals to get the quality treatment you need. So before deciding to move your loved one to home recovery, make sure to consult a medical professional first.