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Helping a Senior Move from the Hospital to Home

By Jennifer Thompson, 9:00 am on

About 18 percent of seniors end up back in the hospital within 30 days of being discharged. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation finds that following steps can help Nashville in-home caregivers prevent their senior loved ones from returning to the hospital mid-recovery.

Medication Management

Doctors are likely to prescribe new medicines while the senior is in the hospital. As the family caregiver, make sure that you understand the medicine’s instructions and any interactions it may have with other medicines your loved one takes.

Physical Assistance

The senior may need to use new medical equipment to safely move around the house. If so, arrange for it to be installed in the home by the time your loved one arrives. Some common additions include wheelchair accessible ramps, handrails in the bathrooms, mobility scooters and chair lifts for stairs.

Fall Prevention

Seniors fall more often while in recovery, which can result in being put back in the hospital. Consider installing grab bars in the bathroom to prevent this from happening during bath time. Also, have someone walk through the home picking up potential falling hazards like throw rugs and papers. 

Prepare for Follow-Up Appointments

The senior may need to follow up with several different doctors after being discharged from the hospital. Make sure those arrangements are in place and take note of them in a calendar or day planner. It’s important to keep track of these appointments as failure to do so could impede your loved one’s recovery.

Social Interaction

The University of Minnesota finds that a senior who is surrounded by friends and family usually recovers faster. Therefore, make arrangements for people to visit on a regular basis. While you may want to wait a day or two to give your loved one time to rest, it often helps to have one or two people over for a relaxing day of movie watching with your loved one.

Arrange Assistance

Most seniors will be weak when they first get out of the hospital and won’t be able to take care of things around the house. Therefore, someone should be prepared to stay with your loved one. Accidents are more likely to occur when no one is there to oversee daily tasks, which is why you should either prepare to stay with your loved one or hire a Nashville home care agency to watch over him or her.

Turn to Home Care Assistance for help transitioning your loved one from the hospital to home. We are the leading provider of Alzheimer’s, dementia and post-stroke care Nashville seniors need to quickly and efficiently recover from illness or injury. Additionally, we offer companionship and assistance with everyday tasks such as cooking and cleaning. Call (615) 656-4999 today to set up a free consultation with an experienced Care Manager.