Home Is Where The Health Is: What Is At-Home Care?
Covid-19’s impact on healthcare infrastructure led to a steep rise in demand for At-Home Care. But what does it mean? Let’s take a look.
Shortage of beds, lack of medical equipment, and overburdened staff at hospitals weren’t making the pandemic easier for us. That was when we realised the need for health treatments from home, beyond the four walls of hospitals.
The virus went after people over 65, especially with comorbidities. This segment of the elderly population in India is expected to triple in the next three decades. Before the pandemic, most of the home care demand was by senior citizens seeking long-term care at home. Today, the At-Home Care market has grown to $5.4 billion and is expected to grow to $20 billion by the end of 2025.
What exactly is At-Home Care?
At-Home Care means receiving the treatment for an illness at home as one would receive it at the hospital. It includes doctor visits, day-care treatments, pre and post-hospitalisation care and more.
There are different types of At-Home Care services:
Domiciliary Treatment: When you cannot move a patient to a hospital because of ill health or comorbidities, the doctor will recommend that they be treated at home. This can also happen if there is a shortage of beds at the hospital.
Pre and Post-Hospitalisation: This includes doctor consultations, follow-ups, diagnostic tests and medicines. While you don’t need to be in a hospital for this, you can get these things done from home (in some cases). Once your treatment at the hospital is over, the doctor may again recommend you complete your recovery process at home.
OPD and Day Care Treatments: Procedures like chemotherapy, physiotherapy, radiotherapy or dialysis are expensive, but you don’t need to go to the hospital; they can arrive at your doorstep.
You may visit the healthcare center occasionally if you need tests done on immovable equipment.
Benefits of At-Home Care Services:
1. Lesser financial stress
A day in an ICU can cost you anywhere between Rs. 35,000 to Rs. 50,000. In comparison, if you set up the necessary equipment at home, the cost range would drop down to between Rs. 7,500 to Rs. 10,000 per day.
A monthly package of services can cost you up to Rs. 30,000 at home as compared with Rs. 5,000 a day at the hospital.
Basically, you can save up on a ton of money if you have the option of At-Home Care. Cherry on the cake is when your health plan covers these costs.
2. Minimum risk of infection
Hospitals can be the most sterile place on the planet, and yet one is at high risk of catching hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). This is because the patients already have a weak immune system because of their illness. When you opt for at-home care, you reduce the risk of infection from other patients.
3. Recover at your own pace
The nursing staff can give you their undivided and personalized attention at home. Due to a constant flow of incoming and outgoing patients in a hospital, your recovery may not be as smooth as you want. The staff would want to care about others as much as you. Recovering at home gives you the chance to be gentle with the process and take enough time to get back in action.
4. Stay positive
People feel at ease in their homes. Hospital surroundings may overwhelm them. It may be hard to find hope or stay positive in such an environment. Additionally, the mood set by the smell of medicines and other paraphernalia in the hospital may impact the overall mood, and trigger unwarranted reactions or emotions.
Getting treated at home can help in faster recovery.
5. No extra expenses or limits
When admitting yourself to a hospital, your health plan provider decides the kind of room you should get. That doesn’t happen with At-Home Care services. Whether you set up your treatment in your bedroom or the living room, you call the shots, not your health plan provider. The bill will also include those things that you’ve agreed for, unlike those surprise additions that usually accompany your hospital bills.
How to seek At-Home Care?
It is recommended that you seek At-Home Care only when your doctor advises it. Don’t jump into it because you feel that you’re better at home. Seek professional opinion, put down all the ifs and buts on the table and then arrive at a decision.
If you are covered by a health plan, do inform your provider about your situation and the course of treatment. Let them know what you’re up to and how they will step in to help you with the financial part.
Make sure you have someone at home who can help you with your treatment (if need be).
While at-home care can be a little easy on the pocket, you can further save that expense too with our OPD plans. With Kenko’s OPD plans, you get at-home care for Covid, dental care benefits, discounts on other OPD expenses, and much more.