Treating Pneumonia in Seniors: Hospitals vs. In-Home Care

Nick Rosen, MD
Medically reviewed by Nick Rosen, MDNovember 13th, 2020

As the head of a senior living community, one of your primary concerns is likely keeping your residents healthy and safe from harm. You’ve probably put considerable effort into preventing them from ever getting sick in the first place, but these things aren’t always within your control. And when your residents fall ill, your focus has to shift from prevention to supplying them with the best possible treatment.

If one of your residents has developed pneumonia or another serious illness, you’ll need to decide whether to send him or her to the hospital for treatment, or instead arrange for in-home care. Although each option offers its own set of benefits—and a trip to the ER is certainly necessary in a life-threatening situation—in-home care tends to provide numerous advantages over hospital treatment. Here’s why:

It Lowers the Risk of Developing a Nosocomial Infection

One of the largest drawbacks to seeking pneumonia treatment in a hospital setting is the increased risk of developing a nosocomial infection, also known as a “healthcare-associated infection” or “HAI.” This term describes an infection that wasn’t present at the time a patient was admitted, but then develops during the treatment process. Some of the most common nosocomial infections include bloodstream infections, gastrointestinal infections, and urinary tract infections.

It’s important to note that nosocomial infections aren’t just limited to hospitals—they can also develop during ambulatory care, in surgical centers, and under other circumstances. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately one in 31 hospital patients has at least one nosocomial infection on any given day. The CDC has also stated that 1.7 million hospitalized patients develop nosocomial infections each year, and that more than 98,000 patients die from these infections.

It’s More Comfortable for Your Residents

If one of your residents has pneumonia, traveling to a hospital for treatment is probably the last thing that he or she wants to do. With symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, and chest pain, pneumonia is incredibly taxing on the body to begin with, and leaving home to seek treatment requires even more exertion. In-home care will spare your resident from having to get out of bed, venture outside (possibly in unfavorable weather), travel to the hospital, and wait for however long it takes to be seen by a provider. Instead, he or she can continue relaxing at home, getting the rest that’s necessary to recover from this illness.

It’s More Cost-Effective

For many seniors, the cost of healthcare is a major concern. In fact, according to the National Council on Aging, more than 25 million Americans who are 60 or older are economically insecure. While you’ll certainly need to check with each mobile healthcare provider to see how prices compare to the cost of a hospital visit, in many cases, in-home treatment is significantly less expensive. Offering your residents a cost-efficient alternative to hospitalization can reduce stress levels and allow them to focus on the primary goal of getting better.

The Team to Choose for In-Home Pneumonia Treatment

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If in-home pneumonia treatment sounds like the right choice for your residents, the next thing you’ll need to do is find a reliable mobile healthcare provider. Fortunately, you can turn to DispatchHealth. We treat almost everything that an ER can, including pneumonia. Once you’ve requested care—which you can do by phone or via our website or mobile app—our team will arrive within one to two hours, conduct an examination, and administer any necessary treatments. We understand how important it is to provide a seamless treatment experience, so to ensure continuity of care, we’ll provide you with a detailed report of our services.

What’s more, our services are affordable. Your residents can expect to pay approximately the same amount that they would at an urgent care clinic, and just a fraction of what they would at the ER. We accept most major health insurance plans—including Medicare and Medicaid—and if any of your residents don’t have insurance, we can offer them a reasonable flat rate.

If you’d like to hear more about our in-home pneumonia treatment services and why they’re superior to hospitalization, contact DispatchHealth today. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.


DispatchHealth relies only on authoritative sources, including medical associations, research institutions, and peer-reviewed medical studies.

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The DispatchHealth blog provides tips, tricks and advice for improving lives through convenient, comfortable healthcare.

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