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Home care can benefit elderly patients

7th December 2005

Providing a high standard of medical care in the home can be just as effective as treatment within the hospital, according to researchers in the US.

The study suggested that not only is hospital-level care safe and effective, it can provide additional benefits such as privacy, peace of mind and reduce confusion for the patient.

"The need for hospital-at-home care arises from the fact that for older people, the acute hospital is not always the ideal care environment, " Dr Bruce Leff, the lead author of the report, told Reuters.

"They're exposed to germs they otherwise would not be exposed to, and it's easy for them to develop acute confusion. The consequences can be enormous."

Trials showed that high levels of home care, including access to oxygen and antibiotics, resulted in shorter recovery times and fewer critical complications.

"The other thing about this model is that patients love it," Dr Leff added. "They told us it was comfortable, it was easy, it felt safe, and it was easier on their family members and care givers."