It often comes as a relief when our senior family members return from an unexpected trip to the hospital. All parties involved are thrilled when a senior is able to be discharged after a fall or illness without further complications. Although it may seem like this is a good point for our concerns to subside, that is not always the case.
Recovery is a long road, and we should not let our guard down simply because our loved one has returned home. There are still health and safety issues that could arise. Sometimes, people assume the care provided during a hospital stay is the only necessary care and do not realize the importance of post-discharge care.
Many of us don’t know that the readmission rate in the United States is growing higher. With nearly 16% of 65-75-year-olds readmitted in 2021, it is crucial to make arrangements for recovery care. There are several easy steps to help prepare you and your loved one for what is to come after returning home.
PARTICIPATE IN THE DISCHARGE PLANNING PROCESS
Be active and involved in planning for discharge. Engage with the discharge team as early as possible during the stay. Consider using a checklist, such as this one from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
There are many resources available for you to comprehend the hospital discharge process. Tips and checklists can make caring for your recovered family member a lot less daunting.
LISTEN TO THE ADVICE OF YOUR HOSPITAL DISCHARGE TEAM
When our loved ones are ready to return home, a discharge coordinator and hospital social worker will be appointed to them. This protocol is to ensure the protection of their patient. These health professionals will review essential checkpoints before your family member is released from the hospital. They assess your loved one’s current health, limitations expected during the at-home recovery process and confirm that the patient is fully ready for this transition.
As your loved one’s support system, it is vital for you to be a part of this discussion. Make sure these professionals are aware of potential limitations or other health complications they may not know about. Each person is different, just as each recovery is different. Providing these details may help prepare you further for what to expect and inform health professionals of possible complications or roadblocks.
Some daily tasks will become challenging during recovery. Your willingness to assist in any way needed is an essential step towards a full recovery. This can include medication administration, assistance with daily activities like bathing or eating, monitoring their overall health and activity, and ensuring that your loved one attends their post-hospital physician or specialist visits.
To be the best caregiver possible, make sure you obtain all information that will assist you in this process, such as the doctors’ phone numbers, prescription doses, and instructions for any required medical equipment. Your senior’s doctor will provide any information that you ask for and aim to make this process easy for you as well.
UNDERSTAND YOUR OPTIONS FOR ADDITIONAL CARE
In some cases, the discharge coordinator might inform you of further after-care options. These may include home health care, a short stay in a skilled nursing facility or a move to an assisted living community. Some roads to recovery take longer than others and require further professional care. Your discharge coordinator’s goal is to provide you with the resources you need to ensure your senior makes the best possible recovery in a safe environment.
Understanding all of the possible options for home care, temporary/respite stays, or a potential move to senior living can be overwhelming. Talking with a parent or other family member about relocating can be a dreaded conversation. Oasis Senior Advisors is here to make this process easier. Our team of Advisors is ready to assist no matter your loved one’s needs.
If you or someone you love need additional information regarding the discharge process or seek assisted living options in your area, Oasis is here to help every step of the way. Give us a call at (888) 455-5838 to find your local Oasis advisor.