Elderly Hospital Discharge, pt. 2
Upon being discharged from a hospital (or rehab facility) and returning home, an elder’s normal habits and old routines also get re-established. In other words, bad habits can characterize a senior‘s normal household routine.
This is where professional in-home care can make all the difference, establishing new conditions and habits. Many times, home care can reemphasize household routines. Elderly parents may need help with their “activities of daily living”, and with managing post-discharge recovery instructions—to say nothing of cooking, cleaning and other usual household tasks.
— Support the patient’s follow-up care. Compliance with the doctor’s instructions promotes the best possible outcome. In-home caregivers help coordinate medical appointments, pick-up prescriptions, provide medication reminders, and transport patients to doctor appointments, outpatient rehabilitation sessions and other follow-up care.
— Supervision. In most cases, healthcare providers recommend a prompt return to physical activity. For example, returning home after a knee replacement now requires activity and exercise to promote healing, blood circulation, and recovery. Trained in-home caregivers will assist elders as they exercise, walk, and move around the house. Care staff will also provide a steady hand and encouragement while patients adjust to using a walker, crutches or other assistive devices.
— Personal care and hygiene. Many times elders are challenged by bathing, dressing, grooming, going to the toilet, and oral care. In-home care staff provide skilled assistance with sensitivity to preserve the patient’s dignity.
— Housekeeping, laundry and meal preparation. In-home caregivers keep the house clean to lower the risk of infection, and remove hazards that could cause a fall. Errands such as grocery shopping can be taken care of. Preparing nutritious meals and snacks that will meet the elder’s dietary recommendations.
— Respite for family members. Caregiving is hard work. Family caregivers quickly find that caring for their loved one can be a full-time job. It can be emotionally difficult and exhausting. Utilizing a trained in-home caregiver, families can get some rest and take time for their work and other responsibilities. In-home care also is a great option for long-distance caregivers who feel torn between their loved one’s care needs and their responsibilities back home.
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John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions.
Phone: (781) 378-2164