Your loved one has been discharged from the hospital. How do you get them reacclimated to home life?
Many older Americans do not successfully manage the transition from the hospital to home and as a consequence, end up returning to the hospital again. Studies show that 1 in 5 Medicare patients is readmitted within 30 days of discharge. Nearly 50% of the readmissions are linked to emotional problems, failure to follow proper treatment protocols, skipping physician follow-up appointments and lack of in-home support.
Planning ahead and getting organized in advance can ease the transition home and greatly improve chances for a complete recovery. Consider the following issues when planning for discharge from either a hospital or rehab facility:
Order necessary equipment and supplies in advance. Check with the hospital's Discharge Planner for recommendations on appropriate items such as: hospital bed, shower chair, portable commode, oxygen system, disposable gloves, and skin care items.
Temporarily move out items in the home that could pose fall risks such as rugs, electrical cords, and clutter.
Create a system to record and track important information such as phone numbers and medications with dosing times. Identify symptoms that should not be ignored and should be reported immediately to the attending physician. A notebook or white board could work well.
Purchase any special food items that may be needed during recovery such as "Ensure". Consider lining up nutritious food delivery services or recruit friends/neighbors to provide meals during the transition period.
Develop a schedule for "checking in" on your loved one with family members and/or friends. If this is not possible, consider retaining the services of an in-home care provider to check in at regular intervals and to provide feedback on your loved one's progress and assist with safety needs.
Bringing a family member home from the hospital can be quite overwhelming. You will likely feel stressed over all that must be done prior to discharge. Planning during the early stages of hospitalization can make all of the difference in a successful transition home.
Need additional help at home following discharge?
Contact Easy Living Services, Inc. at 770-442-8664 to learn how In-Home Caregiver Services by certified professionals can ease your burden and promote a full recovery. We have supported families in their efforts to keep loved ones fulfilled and safe at home since 1994. Call to discuss your specific needs or for more information visit us at: www.easylivingservices.com