The Transition from Hospital to Home

By Pete Lane, 8:00 am on

As an aging loved one makes progress in the hospital setting, questions regarding how to prepare for the transition home can be daunting for his or her family members. In fact, hospitals re-admit twenty per cent of senior clients who are discharged home. Studies strongly attribute this large amount of readmissions to cultural and economic factors, so it’s important to become an active participant in the planning process as soon as possible in order to prevent a second, unnecessary hospital stay. The following are some tips to help guide you with this process.

The first step in learning and making provisions for the transition from hospital to home is identifying support services within the hospital. The nurses overseeing your loved one’s care during his or her in-service course can act as liaisons for your specific needs, but communication is paramount. Questions regarding financing, medical equipment and home care in Centennial are all important. Information about medications and how to assist in performing activities of daily living can be garnered directly from the RN, while other potential issues may require consultation with social workers, case management, physicians and therapists. In order to make a smooth transition, be sure to voice your concerns so the appropriate professionals can be notified.

The next task in preparation involves medical supplies. It’s vitally important to make sure that all needed equipment is available before returning your loved one home. This could be as simple as obtaining a walker, or may be as complicated as finding a medical bed, bedside commode, and various dressings for intravenous lines and wounds. Additionally, if the patient’s home needs are complicated, he or she may qualify for visitations from professionals associated with local hourly and live-in home care agencies in Centennial. All of these issues will need to be settled before discharge can successfully occur.

Finally, one major barrier to successful returns home involves follow-ups. If the physicians order therapy sessions or a doctor’s appointment to assess your loved one’s progress, it’s vitally important to ensure that they can be kept. The exacerbation of many chronic conditions can begin insidiously, and meeting these check-ups as indicated can provide an opportunity for intervention before your loved one’s condition requires a second admission. If you know that you will be unable to take your loved one to follow-up appointments, learn more about professional hourly care in Centennial, where highly trained and compassionate caregivers can provide reliable transportation and accompaniment for medical appointments.

So these are the three main points to think about when preparing for discharge: ask questions, obtain needed supplies, and be sure to have adequate transportation for the future; and by all means, if you need help refer back to the first maxim. Ask. To learn more about support services for seniors and their families, call 303-957-3100 and speak with a friendly Care Manager from Home Care Assistance of Centennial today.