How Can Professional Elderly Care Ease Hospital Transitions for Seniors in Bethesda, MD, and Surrounding Areas?
Learn how elderly care from Visiting Angels eases hospital transitions for seniors in Bethesda, Silver Spring, Aspen Hill, Colesville, Laurel and nearby cities in Maryland
Hospital stays can be challenging for seniors. Whether it’s an overnight visit or an extended stay, time away from the comforts of home can diminish a senior’s sense of normalcy and well-being. The last thing seniors want is to return to the hospital.
Unfortunately, roughly 20 percent of seniors on Medicare are readmitted within 30 days of a hospital discharge due to preventable factors such as:
- Medication issues – If your loved one is prescribed medication to manage their condition, they could possibly experience some side effects that can impact their health. In addition, missing any doses can also worsen their health and could cause them to be readmitted.
- Falls and accidents – Sustaining an injury from a fall or another incident can cause your loved one to be readmitted, depending on the severity.
- Missed medical appointments – If your loved one misses a scheduled follow-up with their healthcare provider, they can run the risk of experiencing an incident that could cause them to get readmitted. Going to medical appointments when needed can help detect these issues and help your loved one get the care they need to manage it
- Disregarding diet recommendations – Your loved one may receive a diet plan from their healthcare team to help them recover. However, it may be difficult for your loved one to prepare their own meals in accordance with their new diet or they may fall back on dishes that are unhealthy for them, which can increase the likelihood of being readmitted.
What to Ask During Your Loved One’s Hospital Discharge
The hospital discharge process can happen quickly. You may have waited for hours to leave and suddenly you’re walking down the hospital corridor heading for your car with new prescriptions to fill and your uneasy loved one in a wheelchair. Getting clear instructions before you leave can help reduce the odds of a hospital readmission.
Here are some questions to ask your loved one’s medical team during the process. Also, consider professional elderly care services from Visiting Angels of Bethesda to assist in your loved one’s transition.
- What should I know about my loved one’s condition?
Request information from the hospital staff. Understand their diagnosis and what kind of care they received in the hospital. Learn which symptoms will require follow-up from a medical professional.
- Are there medication changes?
Medication errors are the main cause of readmittance to the hospital. Ask for a list of prescribed medications. Make sure you understand the dosages and recommended times. Also, confirm which medications your loved one should no longer take.
- Are follow-up appointments scheduled?
Get a list of upcoming medical appointments and mark them on your calendar. Follow-up appointments will ensure recovery is on track and prevent a return trip to the hospital. If possible, attend these appointments with your loved one.
- What additional support is needed?
Many seniors need non-medical support, such as help with mobility, personal hygiene or light housekeeping. Ask hospital staff what kind of in-home elderly care they recommend for your loved one. Also, find out what tasks they should be able to do on their own. Failure to accomplish these tasks could be a sign of worsening health. Count on Visiting Angels of Bethesda for expert professional home care services to help your loved one with everyday tasks that are too difficult to complete on their own during their recovery.
- Request written, step-by-step discharge instructions.
Make sure to get clear, easy-to-understand documented instructions from the hospital. If you don’t understand the instructions, review them with the staff. Make copies so both you and your loved one have the same information.
How Elderly Care from Visiting Angels of Bethesda Can Help
Many family caregivers underestimate the support needed at home for seniors to continue recovering. Although, with proper support and planning, you can reduce the risk of re-hospitalization. For extra assistance, consider enrolling in the Ready-Set-Go Home program from Visiting Angels of Bethesda, which helps seniors transition from hospital to home safely.
The Ready-Set-Go Home program includes a variety of elderly care services, including:
- Hourly, weekly, weekend, overnight and 24-hour care
- Medication reminders and pharmacy pickups
- Monitoring and reporting changes in health condition
- Scheduling and attending medical appointments
- Grocery shopping and nutritious meal preparation
To learn how elderly care services from Visiting Angels of Bethesda can help your loved one, call us at 301-433-7237.