If you have recently found out that your loved one is ready to be released from the hospital, you may be feeling a variety of emotions. You may feel happy and relieved, yet you may also feel anxious and fearful of what may happen. Depending on the nature of their condition and the state of their health, they may need continued special care, and you don’t want anything falling through the cracks.
Unfortunately, it’s an all-too-common story: an individual is released from the hospital, and the family is left with little-to-no care instructions. This can cause major, even fatal, issues. That’s why it’s important for families to make sure they are on the same page with all caregivers to ease what can be a difficult transition.
If you need the aid of a home healthcare agency in Fort Collins, we would love to be there for you. We have extensive experience in helping with the transition home, and our licensed clinical social workers can help guide you towards the best choices for your loved one. In the meantime, here are some tips for helping you make the right choices for their care.
Get All the Information You Can
From the moment you learn that your loved one will soon be discharged, it’s time to collect as much information as possible. You won’t always know exactly when someone will be released, so it’s best to discuss all of your options now. Ideally, you will be able to work with a discharge planner at the hospital. Unfortunately, this isn’t always an option, which means your family may need to put in some extra work.
The first thing you will need to know is the level of care your loved one will need once they arrive home. They may require:
- Personal care (help with bathing, grooming, eating, etc.)
- Companion care
- Medication management
- Skilled nursing (IV medications, feeding tubes, wound treatment, etc.)
- Palliative care
- Hospice care
- Physical or occupational therapy
Then, you will want to look into what your loved one’s insurance will cover. For example, insurance companies may not cover companion or personal care. In addition, if your loved one is a veteran, they may qualify for coverage through Veteran’s Aid and Attendance. If there are out-of-pocket expenses that will need to be covered, it’s wise to discuss this with your family as soon as possible to determine who will cover the cost.
Before discharge, make sure you have all the required documents. This should include a medication list, a discharge summary, and required continuing care.
If you choose to work with our home healthcare agency in Fort Collins, we can work with you, your loved one’s healthcare providers, and the insurance company to understand what is required and what you can afford.
Preparing the Home
Once you have determined the level of care you will need, it’s time to prepare your home for safety. You will likely have specific requirements for your loved one’s care, and we can help you to determine those when you work with Evergreen Home Healthcare. However, as a general rule of thumb, here are some safety changes you may want to make:
- Install grab bars in the bathroom, both by the toilet at the shower/bathtub. In the shower, consider installing a chair.
- If your loved one will be using a walker or wheelchair, make sure that there are clear pathways between furniture so they can maneuver. Consider the doorways as well — if they aren’t wide enough, it may help to take the door off the hinges.
- If you have throw rugs, consider getting rid of them. This is the most common trip hazard for seniors.
- Installing night lights can help your loved one navigate the home at night.
- Consider investing in a medical alert device for them so they can quickly summon help in the event of an emergency.
At Evergreen Home Healthcare, we understand how overwhelming it can be to aid your loved one during the transition from hospital to home. If you’re looking for a home healthcare agency in Fort Collins, we would love to help you. Contact us today to learn more about how we may be able to help you and your family to ensure the best care for your loved one.