Get Assistance From A Transitional Care Specialist in Fargo, ND
It's a great feeling knowing that your loved one will soon be on their way home from the hospital. But don't forget there is plenty to be done before they arrive.
It's Not Easy
Transforming into a transitional care specialist for an elderly loved one is no easy task. In order to provide them with effective care, the first step is to admit it's more work than you can handle by yourself. Their care team should include you, your loved one, other members of your family, their medical care team, and a professional caregiver.
Readmission Rates Are Scary
- The cost of readmission to the U.S. healthcare system is over $17 billion not including those coming from urgent-care facilities and emergency rooms.
- One in five seniors will be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days.
- 25% of seniors who are discharged to nursing homes have a higher risk of readmission within 30 days.
- 75% of these readmissions can be prevented.
Steps to an Effective Transitional Care Program
Your first task as your loved one's transitional care specialist is to secure copies of the records of their care while in the hospital. Not only do these records show the care they received while in the hospital, but they will include future care and treatments needed. Having this information close at hand can help you create an effective transitional care plan and may be very useful should you need to contact their medical care team.
You certainly won't be the first family member to take care of a loved one during this transitional period. Most who try and fulfill this role, do so unaware of the time and energy it requires, let alone how much they need to learn to be effective and make it possible for your loved one to come home. Comfort Keepers offers caregivers who are highly experienced and have specialized training in providing transitional care for the elderly. Along with a wide range of personal care and homemaking services, they can also help you learn more about being a transitional care specialist.
Our Caregivers Come Prepared
One thing you can count on, our caregivers arrive at your home or that of your loved one prepared to offer a variety of helpful services, including
- Homemaking services (decluttering, light house cleaning, laundry, dishes, meal planning & cooking, etc.)
- Personal care services including bathing, grooming, mobility assistance, incontinence support, etc.)
- Companionship and emotional support throughout their recovery journey
- Transportation to appointments and taking care of numerous errands.
- Continuous monitoring of health and maintaining communication between the family, doctors, rehabilitation specialist, etc.
What Are Some of the Cause of Readmission?
From a medical point of view, your loved one is at their highest risk of being readmitted to the hospital during the first 30 to 180 days post discharge.
While there are many causes of readmission, here are some of the more common ones:
- Severity and Type of Medical Condition – covering those who are in the late stages of a medical condition or suffering from a chronic condition such as heart disease or Alzheimer's.
- Medications – concerning the taking of new medication that causes adverse side effects and those who do not take their medication as instructed, resulting in adverse side effects.
- Limited Access to Appropriate Post Hospital Care – covering those with limited transportation to their appointments, picking up needed medications, and have the daily support they need.
- Secondary Diagnoses – covering those patients who develop a medical condition or display severe symptoms not seen during their hospitalization.
- Lack of Education by Medical Team – covers those who did not receive the proper transition home care education by the patient's medical care team before they come home.
Steps You Can Take to Help Lower the Risks
As your loved one's personal transitional care specialist, it falls on you to obtain copies of the medical records created while they were in the hospital. These records contain a treasure trove of information, both of the care they received and that they are likely to need during their recovery. You should also have this information at hand any time you need to contact their medical care team.
Never Hesitate When It Comes to Asking Questions
Even though you might feel like a pest when you have a lot of questions about your loved one's transitional care, you shouldn't. It's the only way you are going to become an effective transitional care specialist. Talk to the care team at the hospital, their doctor, and make good use of the internet. Be sure you obtain a contact number for their doctor, along with contact information for local support groups and professional transitional care providers.
A Good Transitional Care Specialist Keeps Records
If you want to be an exceptional transitional care specialist, you need to keep accurate records during your loved one's recovery process. You can get together with their Comfort Keepers caregiver and create your own version of the medical records used at the hospital. Part of these records needs to be a place to keep notes. The rest should include:
- A schedule that includes all family caregivers, when they will be there and what they need to do.
- A list of appointments, what was discussed and what, if anything was done.
- A record of all medications, when they need to be taken and the correct dosage.
- Contact information, including caregivers and emergency contacts.
Is Your Home (or theirs) Ready for Their Return?
One last thing that needs to be taken care of before your loved one can come home. You need to make sure your home (or theirs) will provide a healthy and safe recovery environment. Take the time to:
- Be sure the house is clean and disinfected eliminating allergens and bacteria.
- Introduce your loved one to their transitional home care provider before they are discharged.
- Be sure furniture is arranged to make room for any mobility equipment.
- Create a care plan schedule that lets your loved one know who will be with them and when.
- Place items that are used daily within easy reach.
- Install any needed safety equipment.
If you would like more information on becoming a transitional care specialist for your loved one or arrange for a caregiver, contact Comfort Keepers of Fargo, ND at (701) 297-2431. While you are talking to one of our senior advisors be sure to schedule your free in-home consultation with one of our senior care experts.