Home Hospital Best Solution for Some Washington Seniors

by Lois Etienne on February 22, 2011

in Senior Health and Safety

It appears that staying home could be the best, with the right resources, that is.  A study that was published in a recent issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals, found that at-home care may be a practical alternative for some patients with suddenly worsening chronic heart failure.

What’s more, the study found that hospitals may be hazardous for older persons who commonly experience complications from treatment, functional decline and other adverse events.  The Italian study compared the effectiveness of a physician-led hospital-at-home service for elderly patients who suffered from suddenly worsening chronic heart failure with traditional hospital inpatient care.

Patients age 75 or older were randomly assigned to either a general medical ward (53 patients) or to the Geriatric Home Hospitalization Service (48 patients).

The Geriatric Home Hospitalization Service provided diagnostic and therapeutic treatments by hospital health care professionals in the home of the patient.  At six months, 15 percent of all patients had died, with no significant differences between the two groups.

Washington State Senior CoupleHowever, the mean (average) time to first additional hospital admission was longer for the Geriatric Home Hospitalization Service patients (84.3 days vs. 69.8 days). And only the Geriatric Home Hospitalization Service patients experienced improvements in depression, nutritional status and quality-of-life scores.  “Recent trends in health care favor alternatives to traditional acute care in hospitals.  These trends include advancement in telehealth technologies and increased demand for treatment at home,” the authors conclude.

Many in home health services are available to help with medical needs, and non-medical services such as those provided by Home Instead Senior Care could provide companionship and assistance around the house.

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