Preparing for the Hospital-to-Home Transition
As caregivers, it is our duty to ensure the prolonged well-being of our loved ones. Thus, if a family member or friend is leaving the hospital, it is our prerogative to ensure that they undergo a successful hospital-to-home transition. Ask a home health aide, such as from Expicare Nursing Agency, and they will tell you, the first 30 days after leaving the hospital are crucial for rehabilitation.
This is especially true for aging loved ones. According to the US National Institutes of Health, “readmission to hospitals within 30 days after discharge is commonplace among elderly patients.” In fact, some readmission rates for seniors in the United States are as high as 23%.
With such high rates, it becomes imperative to lower your loved ones possibility of readmission. This can be achieved by creating a solid transition plan from the hospital to the home. The following will act as a basic guideline for what to take into account when creating a hospital-to-home transition plan.
Check In With Your Medical Professionals
Helping your loved one transition from the hospital-to-home can feel daunting, especially for novices to the caregiving world. Luckily, you can utilize your loved one’s doctor to help inform you of the intricacies of their specific transition!
Schedule a time for a talk with your doctor. Have them walk you through how the transition should go, and what you need to be prepared for. Ask them what risk factors that you need to be aware of, and what specific steps can be taken to avoid these risks. Ask for medications, care strategies, and any preparation that needs to be done before the transition.
As always, make certain to take notes and don’t be afraid to ask questions!
Get the Necessary Training
If you intend to be your loved one’s primary caregiver during this transition, it’s imperative that you get any necessary training for their care techniques. These techniques will vary, so you should ask your doctor and discharge team what is needed.
For example, if your loved one requires a feeding tube, you will need apt training on managing and providing maintenance for the apparatus. You will need to know what position that your loved one needs for eating, how to clean the tube, and possibly how to do residual checks.
It’s best to prepare for these care techniques as soon as possible. This is because you’ll want to be comfortable administering care when your loved one undergoes the transition!