Nothing is more worrisome than having an elderly parent or loved one in the hospital. It’s a very stressful situation for everyone.
You know they are getting the best care and have constant monitoring. Which is what they need when first admitted. Everyone looks forward to the day of discharge because there’s no place like home.
Once discharged though, will recovery at home be safe and possible for your senior loved one? Will they need to have assistance?
You want them to be able to heal at home and not have any setbacks. Don’t let the recovery be as worrisome as the hospital stay.
Make sure they are able to recover in a safe environment with these senior care tips.
Senior Care Tips
After a hospital discharge, you want the best chance of recovery for your senior loved one. The first 30 days at home are crucial. About 20% of elderly patients get readmitted within 30 days of discharge. Here are some tips to keep your loved one safe and at home.
Make sure you have clear discharge instructions. Have the discharge planner or nurse sit and go over all the expectations and limitations.
Review all medications with them. Especially if they are new ones or if there are changes in dosage.
Ask questions if something is not clear or understood. As a caregiver, ask whatever you need. Make sure the home care plan they want you to follow is clear. Also, make sure your loved one also understands the instructions.
Is the home safe?
With or without, stairs may be a problem. Try having them sleep on the first floor if possible. If not possible they may need a caregiver to assist them on the stairs.
Make sure the floors are clear. Simple things like throw rugs can be a falling hazard. Push in chairs and make room if they have to use a walker to get around.
If the home has slippery floors make sure they wear something with treads on their feet. The socks from the hospital are a great example. You want to prevent a fall that could land them back in the hospital.
Do they need any special equipment? If they need a cane, walker, booster for the toilet, or shower seat make sure to have that in the house and ready for them. This will help aid in safety and limit fall risk.
Activities of Daily Living
Are they able to do the activities needed for their day-to-day, such as bathing, dressing, and getting food? It may be a good idea to have a caregiver come in and help with these if they are not able to do them.
Nutrition during recovery is very important. Ready-to-go meals are a great idea. If there is no one able to cook for them then these meals would be helpful.
Aim for having enough for at least a week, maybe two. Fresh fruits and vegetables can make easy and nutritious meals. Make sure they have easy access to things they will need in the kitchen.
You don’t want them bending or reaching if they are recovering from surgery.
Make sure they are clear on their medications. The times and the dosages. It can get confusing especially if there is a change in medication.
Medication errors can occur with seniors after a hospital discharge. You want to make sure they’re following the healthcare provider’s instructions.
Making a calendar noting dosage, medication, and timetables can be helpful. Not just for loved ones but also for the caregiver. You can mark off each time they take a med.
Watch for signs of infection. This is something you want to catch as soon as possible.
Signs like fever, sweating, chills, digestive upset are symptoms to look out for. If they have a wound look for redness and oozing, notify your healthcare provider right away.
Follow up Appointments
Make sure they follow up with their healthcare provider. This is very important.
The provider will review medications and can determine how the recovery is going. He can address any issues, physical and mental, that have come about during recovery.
If physical therapy is part of discharge instructions make sure they keep those appointments. Physical therapy can aid in recovery. Especially if they have been immobile for a long period.
Is More Assistance Needed?
Your loved one may need either full-time or part-time help. They may not feel comfortable with a stranger taking care of them. No one knows their loved one better than you.
A friend or family member could assist the loved one and get paid for their time. It would allow some peace of mind to have someone you know and trust. Your loved one will feel secure in having someone they know there also.
There is a way with CDPAP.
CDPAP stands for Consumer Directed Personal Assistance. CDPAP is through NYS medicare and it allows you to choose and hire your own personal caregivers. That includes friends and family but excludes the patient’s spouse.
Caregivers do not need a special skill or licensing. The discharge planner will give you instructions on all the duties you will carry out. Remember to ask questions.
To qualify for CDPAP, the loved one must need help with their activities of daily living. The medical condition also needs to be stable. The patient needs to be able to direct or have the representative direct the care as the program requires.
A Caregiver You Trust
It’s hard having your loved one go through recovery and can be stressful to bring in someone you and they don’t know.
Have a caregiver they know and trust. Follow all the healthcare provider’s instructions and use the senior care tips. You will be able to aid your loved ones as they recover in the comfort of their own home.
Contact and become a caregiver today. Get paid and help your loved one heal and recover.