Returning home after a doctor discharges your senior loved one is a happy time, but it is also a critical turning point in your senior's recovery process. A 2009 New England Journal of Medicine study estimated that almost 20 percent of Medicare patients were readmitted within 30 days of discharge. Often, mistakes made in medications, missed follow-up medical appointments, poor nutrition and dehydration and lack of safety preparation in the home are the issues that can lead to readmission.
Getting Help When Returning Home
Even if you are planning on being there for your senior when he or she returns home, there may be some aspects of their recovery plan that you might need help with. The Home Instead Senior Care network's CAREGivers can help with many of the critical post-discharge care needs that will help lead your senior to a full and complete recovery.
The key elements of the Home Instead Senior Care® network's Returning Home℠ Program include:
- Discharge coordination and execution—Home Instead CAREGivers will work with your senior's hospital discharge planning staff to develop a detailed plan of care and instructions that will be used by family and other home caregivers to make sure your senior has a plan to help ensure a successful recovery.
- Medication management—Home Instead CAREGivers will work with you and/or your senior loved one to help them organize and track their pills and other medications to make sure that they are taken as directed and to help prevent adverse effects.
- Follow-up physician visit assistance—Home Instead CAREGivers can make sure your senior loved one keeps track of and attends follow-up medical appointments including providing or arranging for his or her transportation to the visits.
- Nutrition management—Home Instead CAREGivers can assist with meal planning, shopping and preparation to ensure that your senior loved one is getting wholesome, healthy foods and plenty of hydration that will assist him or her with recovery.
- Warning sign monitoring and notification—Home Instead CAREGivers are familiar with and trained to watch for warning signs and take appropriate action to help prevent complications and readmissions.
- Record keeping—Home Instead CAREGivers are also trained to track specific data on your senior loved one's progress to share with his or her medical providers. This is important for both tracking progress and to help update, if necessary, the original discharge plan of care.
Returning home from the hospital can be a wonderful time for your senior loved one. Seeking help from Home Instead CAREGivers with at home care can mean less stress for you and an easier transition to full recovery for your senior loved one.