For many years, unless a person or their family were fairly well off, the only option when diagnosed with or recuperating from a disease or injury was to spend time in the hospital. There, access to professional healthcare staff was available around the clock, with specific meals planned for each patient and all of their other needs taken care of.
The problem with the hospital environment is that, although all the needed services and care are immediately available, it is very lacking in privacy. This is a concern for many people who have lived their lives in our modern era, where privacy has become almost a national obsession (to the point where many of us do not even know our neighbours!) Whether people have lived their life in large house or recently bought a downtown condo, being displaced from one's home can be very stressful in an already difficult time.
Spending recuperating or treatment time at a hospital is invasive, to say the very least. More often than not, a patient must share a room with at least one and often three or more different people. In addition, all functions are subject to the knowledge of the group, and many of these functions are ones that individual patients wish to keep private. Meals and naps are taken in the presence of people who are complete strangers, and all of this takes place within the sterile and impersonal hospital.
Today, more and more companies and even public systems are beginning to realize the value of home health care, both in terms of mental health and recovery. Keeping a patient in familiar surroundings not only keeps them feeling at ease, but the lack of additional stress can help to aid in the healing process. Even patients that are diagnosed with terminal illnesses tend to prefer to spend their last months surrounded by the familiar, both in terms of living space and the people around them.
In most cases, the patient will still require the assistance of a home healthcare provider such as a doctor or a nurse, but in a home healthcare situation the role of these professionals is stripped down to the most essential tasks (they are only responsible for duties such as meals and bathing at the request of the patient). This allows both the patient and his or her family the privacy that is so lacking in the hospital environment. If you have an aging relative who would is not ready to put up their house for sale, home healthcare may be a good option.
When a person opts for home healthcare rather than residing in an institution, it does not mean that he or she is cut off from medical support during hours where the professional is not scheduled to visit. Often, doctors will direct and leave detailed instructions when it comes to delivering drugs and testing supplies, and these services may include details including medication reminders. Many home health care providers will even provide people who can engage in light housekeeping and general errands.