Key Tips for Having a Seamless Transition from Hospital to Home for Seniors
Frequent trips to the hospital for seniors can be a traumatizing and strenuous ordeal for patients and their families. While in the hospital, the focus is usually on ensuring a complete recovery for the patient. Usually, little attention is spent on what will happen after the recovery and the transition from hospital back home. However, the transition from hospital back home is very critical to the health and well-being of the seniors.
Factors involved while transitioning a senior
There are various factors involved in transitioning a senior from hospital to home.
One must consider things like:
- Help with medication
- Help with injections if needed
- Physical therapy if needed
- Assistance with other general household chores such as grocery shopping and errand running.
Preparations needed for the senior transition from hospital to home
A successful hospital discharge means the expected improved recovery continues at home without interruption.
Consider the safety of the home for a smooth recovery process. For example, any mobility challenges at home such as steps or staircases must be thought about and a plan made how to deal with them. In addition, it is important to plan if there will be other people to help while at home, either friends or relatives. If nobody is available to help, hiring a professional home caregiver is the right decision to ensure comfort and speedy recovery.
- Transportation to get home
Transport from hospital to home is critical to the recovery of the seniors. If you don't have a means of getting home, you can ask for a ride from a friend or family member to ensure that the senior is relaxed and comfortable on their way home.
- Food and other household necessities
Consider planning to have everything you would need for the senior's recovery. Plan before arriving home, e.g., if your refrigerator is not well stocked with everything you need. Ensure the necessary shopping or meal preparations are done before being discharged from the hospital.
Ensure that all the necessary medications needed for the senior are available. If there are any medication changes, ensure that their schedules and dosage are well organized. If it is not possible to get all the medication needed from the chemist, ask the doctors to discharge you with everything needed.
- Medical equipment
If you need a walker or shower chair for the senior, it is important to seek clarification from the doctor before being discharged. Before leaving the hospital, any necessary equipment should be sorted out to prevent futture problems arising.
The role of a home health aide during the transition period
While at home, seniors need constant home care, including medical, assistive, social, and other services. Home health aides offer the seniors basic services while in the seniors' home.
The duties provided by home health aides during the transition period differ from one patient to another, depending on their needs.
For instance, home health aides can:
- Help seniors with going to medical appointments
- Dress the senior, basic grooming, and change their bedding
- Can drive the senior to and from a medical appointment
- Ensure that the senior follows the dietary guidelines
Generally, home health aides play a great role in the recovery of seniors. They are often in constant communication with the case managers and ensure the senior is comfortable and that their recovery is on track.
Elite Home Health Care is a home health care agency with trained home health care professionals to help you on your transition journey.
Proper planning of the transition from the hospital can greatly improve the seniors' health. Moreover, home health care plays a great role in maintaining the improved health of seniors after being discharged from the hospital.
More information about caregiving is available on Elite Home Health Care.
Written by: Leah Ganz
Leah Ganz, RN, BSN is the Director of Patient Services at Elite Home Health Care. She has an extensive background in homecare and previously worked in various specialties including pediatrics, pain managemnet and internal medicine. She oversees allpatient services across Elite's departments.