A Smooth Move: Making Hospital-to-Home Transition Easier

Elderly woman with her nurseIt’s a stressful reality to have an elderly loved one hospitalized, but an equally difficult task is helping them get back on their feet and regain independence. The speed of their recovery depends on the first 30 days they spend out of the hospital. This is why it’s important to support your relative during this time, allowing them to have a smooth transition from hospital to home.

Preparedness for Risks

A good transition care strategy is one that’s conscious of the risks involved. Medications, for instance, may help facilitate better recovery, but when misused, can be the cause for hospital readmission. Many seniors tend to use their medications wrongly due to existing health conditions, such as memory loss or vision and hearing impairments. These can lead them to take too much or too little of prescribed medications. Sometimes, they just forget and skip it altogether.

Another risk is injuries. Remember that your loved one is still regaining strength, so most likely, they’re suffering from mobility issues. Inspect each room of your home and see if it’s a safe environment for them. You might want to consider having raised toilets and installing grab rails in bathrooms or bed poles in the bedroom.

You should be able to address these mentioned risks. Monitor use of medications and prevent injuries. Many families get senior home health care services in this situation. With health practitioners on their side, they can ensure better recovery for their loved one.

Constant Communication with Doctor

Your loved one’s doctor will be the best person to ask in what to expect in this transition and how to prepare for it. Depending on the condition of your loved one, the doctor will likely share with you the changes in your relative — their changes in appetite, the way they talk, or memory lapses. You have to get yourself ready for such changes, so you’ll know how to address them.

Make sure that you get follow-up care (dosages for each medication and scheduled appointments) right. Don’t let things overwhelm you during this time. Keep a clear head to stay on top of things. Consider involving most of your family members so all of you can share the burden and responsibility.

Remember, the transition from hospital to home is crucial in your loved one’s recovery. So make it as smooth as possible.