Taking your loved one home from the hospital

When your loved one is ready to come home from the hospital, it can be a confusing and stressful time. Hospitals have Discharge Planners or Case Managers who will advise families about what to expect, but sadly, nearly one-fifth of all patients will return to the hospital within 30 days. Here are some ideas for ensuring that your loved one transitions safely back home and avoids a readmission.

1. Medication Changes make sure that you have a complete list off all medications that your parent will be coming home with. It may have changed while they we're in the hospital, both in terms of the actual medications prescribed as well as the timing of delivery. Some changes may be permanent, while others may be transitional. It is important to know exactly what is being prescribed so that the move back home is safe.

2. Visit to Primary Care Physician we recommend that people coming home from the hospital, especially people who have new or changed medications, or a change in their overall care plan, see their primary care physician within a week of returning home . Usually, a primary care physician has an excellent overview of the person's condition and they will review both the new medications, and the care plan.

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3. Schedule Follow Ups with Specialists likely, there will be other doctors who need to meet with the patient to ensure continuity. These should be scheduled well in advance, and transportation services, if needed, should be arranged.

4. Review all In-Home Equipment Needs often, a patient will come home from the hospital needing additional equipment and help in the home. The equipment can include things like oxygen, a hospital bed, railings on the bathroom walls, commode chair, etc. The list of suggested items should come from the hospital, or could be through a Medicare certified home health organization. A safety inspection can be done in the home to determine the best way to keep the patient safe back at home.

5. Utilize In-Home Care Services to supplement Family Caregivers Home Helpers can provide your loved one with a professional caregiver who can help to manage all the details of the return home, and can work inside the home to keep your loved one safe. We provide such services as meal preparation, medication reminders, grocery shopping, transportation services, bathing assistance, dressing assistance, laundry, etc. These tasks can be overwhelming to families, and we are often called upon to provide respite to overworked family members, or provide up to full 24/7 care. We will work with doctors, nurses, physical therapists and the like to provide continuous support in the home to ensure your loved one does not return to the hospital.

This is not a comprehensive list by any means, but provides a framework for consideration.

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Posted in Other Health and Medical Post Date 02/17/2015


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