The home health care industry is massive, employing approximately 1.9 million people across the country. The most common beneficiaries are those above the age of 65, but the world has begun to see a need for home health aides that are specialized in pediatrics and work mainly with children.
Between 15% and 18% of all children in the U.S. experience some form of chronic illness that needs to be managed throughout their lives. This can mean constant trips to the doctor’s office and over-night stays at the hospital. Both of these can generate exorbitant costs for the family, in addition to harming the social and emotional growth of the child — think about how much you, as an adult, hate needing to go to Urgent Care for something as simple as a sore throat and imagine how much worse it would be for a child to need to spend the majority of their time in a similar environment.
Children are meant to be surrounded by their family, playing and learning with their peers in a variety of environments. One family in Minneapolis, Minnesota understood that importance when they decided to take their three-year-old daughter Aubrielle out of the hospital and employ a home health aide instead. Aubrielle had been born with multiple birth defects that made it difficult for her to move and eat, and the family had to spend much of their time at the hospital with her, despite the fact that they had another daughter at home to care for.
“The back and forth, we had to divide a lot. It was like you go up to the hospital. We had conferences going on, meetings with doctors. And you stay home with Lilia. It was divide and conquer.”
Fortunately, they got the go-ahead from Aubrielle’s doctor to move her into the home (with the help of a pediatric home health care company who supplied the medical equipment). A doctor with the company described the difference it can make in a child’s eyes.
“A home environment is a very developmentally rich and stimulating environment. In a hospital setting, they are confined to a bed for the most part.”
Statistically, those who choose home health care get more sleep, more physical activity, and even recover faster. And that’s certainly been the case with Aubrielle, who has since abandoned her walking equipment to do it all on her own — even running occasionally!