Transitioning Home After a Hospital Stay
Making the move back home after a stay in the hospital can present a variety of challenges for seniors. Ideally the goal is to make it back home without experiencing any setbacks that may result in a return trip to the infirmary. The best approach to help avoid complications to make the transition a smooth one is good preparation and planning.
With the various health concerns and increased risks that often accompany older age, many seniors find themselves spending periods of time in the hospital for care and supervision. Following a hospital stay, the notion of returning home often inspires incredibly wonderful and comforting thoughts, but that can also be mixed with fear and anxiety without an effective discharge plan in place. It can be extremely helpful to have assistance arranging everything that is required to keep up proper care for optimal healing and health when arriving back home. Home caregivers are available for assistance every step of the way to make sure all your bases are covered, and the home is well prepared for reception.
Avoiding a Return Visit
A well-planned transitionary period can make a big difference in decreasing the chance seniors will have to return to the hospital. Making sure everything is in order ahead of time helps keep seniors safe, happy, and well-connected to the resources and support systems they need.
It can be overwhelming for family caregivers and loved-ones assisting seniors to think about all the things that must be done when preparing for a return from the hospital. The first thing to always remember is that support and assistance are always available from services like Promyse Home Care. Having professional help to address questions and concerns and figure out all the logistics of care and support can help lighten some of the load and make things feel a little more manageable.
Keeping a running list of questions and concerns as you think of them can be useful so that nothing gets forgotten or neglected. This is helpful when talking to healthcare professionals to determine what needs to be done to best tend to seniors’ health and wellbeing once they are back in their home environment.
Checklist for the Transition from Hospital to Home
Before heading home, there are some basic but important things to consider to arrange for a successful transition:
- Home Medical Equipment: Making sure that all the necessary supplies and equipment are already waiting at the house upon arrival can help make the transition more seamless. Arrangements should be made beforehand to pick up or have delivered any devices that can help seniors feel more comfortable and safe at home post-hospital stay. This means one less thing to worry about when settling back in at home.
- Medications: Before being discharged from the hospital, make sure to have a detailed conversation regarding medication management and what is required at home. Having a clear understanding of what medications are required, dosage, administration, and when they should be taken is critical. Getting this taken care of before leaving the hospital means that there are less likely to be any unforeseen complications in trying to figure it all out at home. It is also important to plan for prescription refills so that seniors are never without the medications they need.
- Appointments: There are often follow-up appointments with healthcare professionals that are required after a hospital visit to check on things and keep an eye on any pertinent developments. With all the hustle and bustle of the transition back to the house, it can be easy to forget scheduling these appointments, so it is important to make a list of any upcoming visits in a system that will ensure they are remembered. Make sure to always have the contact information for healthcare professionals readily available to easily clarify the timing of appointments, as well as anything else that is required for the appointments themselves.
- Expectations: When it comes to seniors’ health, there can be a lot of ups and downs in the recovery process following time spent in the hospital. Having a conversation with healthcare professionals before being released helps provide a better understanding of what to anticipate in the days and weeks to follow. Remaining vigilant and aware, while having a base understanding of what should and should not be a normal part of the process, can help with healing and addressing problems immediately should any issues arise.
Returning to the safety and comfort of home is often a great source of solace for seniors following time spent in the hospital. The transition itself can be stressful, but a bit of planning and preparation can make all the difference in setting seniors up for a successful and comfortable recovery.