Hospital readmissions are not only a significant burden on the healthcare system, but are a physical and emotional drain on the patient, often resulting in worse outcomes than had the need for the second visit been avoided altogether. Home health care services, including those provided by both Medicare agencies and private duty companies, can help ensure a smooth transition and are often recommended by hospital discharge coordinators.
A successful transition from the hospital (or rehab center) back home requires effective communication and coordination. A well-thought-out plan must be in place, with preparations made and consideration given to how an elderly, recuperating person can adhere to the discharge plan’s requirements and what the team caring for that senior at home will look like.
Leaving the hospital can be challenging for elderly patients, even after a short stay. Mental attentiveness, including memory, can be negatively impacted following discharge. It’s crucial to have a support system in place to help manage this transition.
Patients are often discharged with a “To Do” list, which may include new medications and doses (requiring a pharmacy stop), medical equipment to be ordered and delivered, follow-up doctor appointments, and medical care instructions including therapy and exercise. On top of this, the patient must catch up on tasks like checking mail, grocery shopping, rescheduling appointments, and laundry – all while recovering from their hospital stay.
This is where a comprehensive home care plan becomes essential. Boca Home Care Services is uniquely equipped to expertly execute a patient’s discharge plan. Even when a spouse, family member or friend is available to provide support, there may be tasks they are unable to properly assist with or they may not be able to stay with the patient around the clock as needed during the transition.
A home health aide can ensure a safer transition home by meeting a client at the hospital or facility, packing up their belongings, taking them home, picking up food and medications, and ensuring they are safely cared for at home. A home health aide can also assist with:
- Transferring and walking
- Light housekeeping
- Linen changes
- Running errands
- Medication prompts
- Driving and accompanying a client to follow-up doctor appointments
The first few days or weeks home from the hospital are crucial for most people. Learning a new medication regimen, eating properly, and keeping doctor appointments are key to a positive outcome. Discharged patients often receive some medical services through a Medicare-certified home health agency, such as visits from a registered nurse or physical therapist, but patients may need assistance getting ready for this in-home care. The Medicare agency will order and set up any necessary medical equipment, but a patient may need reminders on how to properly use it.
Home care assistance often decreases after the first week, but the extra help can make the difference between a successful transition home and complications leading to hospital readmission. Many of our clients even qualify for these in-home care services at no cost to them under long-term care insurance policies or Medicare Advantage plans.
As physician’s most trusted home care company in South Florida, Boca Home Care Services specializes in assisting clients returning home from hospital or rehabilitation stays. Reach out to our team to learn more about how we can help you navigate your loved one’s transition home with compassionate and caring at-home senior care.