When Should You Consider Getting Neurological Care At Home?
Neurological conditions—that is, conditions that impact the brain and nervous system—can be immensely debilitating. If you or a loved one suffers from a neurological condition such as cerebral palsy or Parkinson’s disease, you know how much it can impact your day-to-day life. For many people, visiting a neurologist can help considerably with diagnosis, condition management, and treatment. For others, in-home care is more accessible and more helpful for managing their condition. Read on to learn when home neurological care is the best option for caring for a loved one.
Living With A Disability
In the time of COVID-19, many people worry about having access to proper medical care to help manage ongoing conditions or disabilities. The physical impact of certain neurological conditions makes regular visits to a doctor very difficult even during normal times. Because of the pandemic, however, in-home consultations can pose a risk to healthcare professionals as well. Many doctors have experimented with virtual house calls to help treat or diagnose patients suffering from Parkinson’s and have been met with high satisfaction ratings from patients. While many people are confined to their homes for the time being, that should not be an obstacle for them to receive high-quality health care.
Managing Long-Term Conditions
For individuals with neurological disorders, the number one priority is having access to a medical professional who has the knowledge and experience to help manage their condition. For some people, this means living in a facility with the resources to care for neurological patients. Unfortunately, many healthcare facilities, especially rest homes, do not have the know-how or resources to treat neurological disorders. A recent report by the BBC showed that many individuals in the UK with complex neurological conditions end up in nursing homes that are ill-equipped to give them the care they need. Oftentimes, the healthiest and most humane way to manage a long-term neurological condition is through in-home care. This way, individuals can get proper treatment while still being able to stay in the comfort of their own homes and enjoy the company of their family.
Some neurological conditions develop at birth, while others may develop as adults age. Having in-home health care for neurological patients means having a medical professional visit the home on a regular basis to monitor the patient and provide treatment and therapy. Many neurological conditions are degenerative and can severely impact muscle health. As a result, home care often involves physical therapy to help slow muscle degeneration. In-home care may be provided by nurses, speech therapists, or physiotherapists. The goal of this kind of care is to help patients manage their condition better and live a more dignified, fulfilling life.
Some of the most common neurological conditions, many of which may require in-home care, are the following:
- Parkinson’s Disease: A progressive neurodegenerative condition, Parkinson’s typically occurs later in life and can cause significant uncontrollable tremors. The condition can also affect a patient’s postural stability and capacity for speech or swallowing, all of which are main focuses for any therapies addressing this condition.
- Multiple Sclerosis: Occurring primarily in young adults, MS is a severe autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the central nervous system, causing a reduction in mobility and potentially brain function.
- Huntington’s Disease: Huntington’s causes the breakdown of nerve cells in the brain, severely impacting mobility and cognitive capacity in mid to late adulthood.
- Dementia: One of the major causes of disability for older adults, dementia involves the disruption of higher cortical function. This can impact an individual’s memory, judgement, and capacity to learn, among other things. Dementia is often caused by Alzheimer’s disease, while a lack of proper blood flow to the brain can also play a role. People with dementia gradually lose their capacity for independent living and may fail to care for their own basic physical needs.
The Main Benefits Of In-Home Neurological Care
In-home care actually presents a number of advantages for patients and their families over other healthcare options, such as in-patient care homes or regular visits to the doctor. These advantages include:
- The chance to receive more dignified, personalized health care in a more private setting
- The ability to continue living with your loved ones instead of in a medical facility
- A greater degree of independence despite your condition
- Greater ease of access to healthcare professionals for patients with limited mobility
- The chance to engage in essential physical therapy in the comfort of your own home
In addition to helping patients manage degenerative neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, in-home care can also help patients recover from accidents or health emergencies such as strokes. Strokes, brain tumors and accidents may all cause damage to the central nervous system, and in-home care can help patients regain some to all of their pre-accident capacity. For accident patients, respite and rehabilitation through in-home care is the first step to returning to their normal lives.
Neurological Care For Children And Infants
Neurological conditions in children younger than 18 years of age are generally managed by pediatric neurologists, who are specifically trained to work with children and infants. The structure of the brain and nervous system changes significantly from childhood to adulthood, and pediatric neurologists can help you and your child better manage their neurological conditions. For children with more severe disorders, in-home care might be a good option, as it allows both children and adults to better cope with the neurological condition. Pediatric neurology care is typical for managing the following conditions:
- Cerebral palsy
- Nerve and muscle diseases
Get The Care You Need From The Comfort Of Your Home
Living with a neurological disorder is difficult, as it impacts every aspect of you and your loved one’s day-to-day lives. Sometimes, to get the help you need, a medical professional can bring quality care to you and help work out different therapy or treatment options from the comfort of your own home. This will give you the needed support, independence, and dignity to fight a debilitating condition on your own terms.