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Is a Medical Group Home Right for Your Child?
Does your child require more care and medical attention than what you’re able to provide at home? A medical group home may be just the answer for your child! Deciding whether or not to place your child in a medical group home is a big decision. If your child has a chronic medical condition, developmental disability, or special health need, this may be a decision you’re faced with. Having a child who requires around the clock care can become overwhelming as well as present unique challenges. This places a lot on everyone involved, not just the child, but also the parent, family, and/or care giver.
When faced with the idea of putting a child in a medical group home, you’ll require time in order to process and decide. Ultimately, you’ll want what is best for the child. Finding the right fit requires what may feel like never-ending research. To help you better understand the benefits of a group home, our staff at Pediatric Pavilion, Inc. operated through ChildrenFirst put together our most helpful information.
Pediatric Pavillion, Inc operates residential medical group homes for infants, children and young adults throughout Central Florida. The children who live in the homes have chronic medical conditions, developmental disabilities, or special health needs. Our purpose is to provide a safe transitional care environment to help our residents transition smoothly from a hospital to their home in efforts to reduce hospital readmittance. We also are a permanent home for many medically complex children who require continuous care.
What is a Medical Group Home?
A medical group home is a place where your child will receive uninterrupted care and around the clock access to medical staff or a trained care giver. Depending on the type of care your child requires, their needs will be met through services provided. While some children require a 24-hour medical staff, others have less severe health needs. Some group homes offer access to fully trained care givers who are able to meet their needs rather than medical staff.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “A medical group home is an approach to providing comprehensive and high-quality primary care. A medical home should be the following:
- Accessible: Care is easy for the child and family to obtain, including geographic access and insurance accommodation.
- Family-centered: The family is recognized and acknowledged as the primary caregiver and support for the child, ensuring that all medical decisions are made in true partnership with the family.
- Continuous: The same primary care clinician cares for the child from infancy through young adulthood, providing assistance and support to transition to adult care.
- Comprehensive: Preventive, primary, and specialty care are provided to the child and family.
- Coordinated: A care plan is created in partnership with the family and communicated with all health care clinicians and necessary community agencies and organizations.
- Compassionate: Genuine concern for the well-being of a child and family are emphasized and addressed.
- Culturally Effective: The family and child’s culture, language, beliefs, and traditions are recognized, valued, and respected.”
What is the Goal of a Medical Group Home?
The goal of a medical group home is to go beyond the four walls of the actual living areas and partner with the family and clinical specialist team to which the family is recognized as being the constant surrounding the child. They work in conjunction with the family to ensure the best possible level of care is provided. From infancy through the transition to adulthood, the family or legal caregivers are the ones making the medical decisions and the goal is to maximize the level of health for your child.
This level of health care benefits a child immensely as they are receiving care tailored to their needs and abilities. There is peace of mind in knowing that the nurses and doctors on staff are all there with the intention of helping your child. Your child will receive specialty medical care and attention from the moment they wake up to bedtime. Their care also continues through the night, allowing you as their parent to rest a bit easier.
It can bring a huge amount of relief to you as a parent/caregiver knowing that your child is consistently receiving quality care. In many cases, it is in the child’s best interest to be placed in a medical group home so they can receive continuous care daily. In addition to the constant medical care, it’s also beneficial for them to live amongst other children with similar health conditions and needs. It is a great way for them to find a connection and bond with others that are just like them! Being homebound can be lonely and isolating for your child, and a medical group home is going to provide them with friends and a network they need.
How do Medically Fragile Children with Lifelong Conditions and their Families Benefit from a Medical Group Home?
For those with children who have lifelong medically complex conditions, a medical group home may be the best place for them. Medical group homes have the recourses to coordinate all of the child’s needs. Attempting to care for a medically complex child yourself is a full-time job. Not to mention many parents already have a full-time job. Let’s not forget, many times there are other children in the family as well. Attempting to coordinate everything is quite the task. It is ok to accept that a medical group home is, in many circumstances, the best place for your child. The amount of attention they require is more than what most parents and caregivers are physically and mentally able to give.
How Does an Infant Benefit from Transitional Care at a Medical Group Home?
Sometimes babies have to spend time in the NICU after they are born. This could be due to being born prematurely, complications during delivery, or being born with a complex medical condition. In some cases, after leaving the NICU an infant will require continued specialty medical care. This is where transitional care at a medical group home comes into play. A transitional care environment helps babies transition smoothly from the NICU to their home with the goal of preventing hospital readmissions. To discover more, click here to read our article all about Specialty Care After the NICU.
When Choosing a Medical Group Home, Look for these Qualities!
- Trained health care providers on staff including: Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, Pharmacists, Licensed Speech Therapists, Physical Therapists, Occupational and Respiratory Therapists.
- Professional caregivers who treat each child with the care and compassion that would be shown to their own family members.
- Transitional care program in place to ensure a smooth transition for your child.
- Natural living environments that are warmer and more homelike than nursing homes, long term care facilities and institutions.
Medical Group Homes in Central Florida
Pediatric Pavillion, Inc.
ChildrenFirst Health Care System offers complete pediatric health care services to medically fragile and medically complex infants and children in Orlando and surrounding areas. Pediatric Pavilion, Inc. is a division of ChildrenFirst which operates multiple community-based residential medical group homes throughout Central Florida. These are family-centered homes located in residential neighborhoods. They are staffed by licensed and caring professionals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Trained Health Professionals on Site
The health care professionals serving are able to care for children with medically complex conditions such as:
- Using a ventilator
- Have a tracheotomy
- Have a G-tube
- On ventilation for life support
- Recovering from an organ transplant or other surgery
- Have advanced cancers
- Have suffered from traumatic brain injury or near-drowning
- Living with Spina Bifida
- Have other complex medical conditions
ChildrenFirst – Is a Medical Group Home Right for Your Child?
Here at ChildrenFirst, we want to help you maneuver through life with a medically complex infant or child as seamlessly as possible. Learning to accept help will be life-giving to everyone. Allowing someone else to help care for your child is a major decision. However, we know first hand that placing them in a medical group home can be a positive experience. It is an amazing opportunity for which your child will receive the best care. They will have around the clock access to a medical or caregiver professional. Contact us today, we are excited to help!