Benefits Of A Transition Care Program From A Home Care Aide in Fairfax, VA
The feeling of joy when you learn your elderly loved one is about to be sent home from the hospital can only be overshadowed by the amount of work to be done before they come home.
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You Need Help
In order to put together an effective transition care program for your loved one, the first step is to admit you can't do it all by yourself. You must be able to count on help from the rest of the family, your loved one, a professional home care aide, and, of course, their medical care team and doctor.
Senior Readmission Statistics
- 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.
- 75% of these readmissions can be prevented.
- 25% of seniors who are discharged to nursing homes have a higher risk of readmission within 30 days.
The Benefits of an Effective Program
Before your loved one is released from the hospital, it is up to you to secure a copy of the medical records covering what treatments were given and what you need to do in the near future. This information will make it far easier for you to create an effective transition care program for your loved one. The goal is to make it as easy and safe as possible for your loved one to make the transition from the hospital to home.
While it is quite common for a family member to create a working plan for an elderly loved one, most do not understand the information that must be absorbed, and how much time and energy is needed to be effective. At Comfort Keepers, we can supply you with a highly trained home care aide who is experienced in providing transitional care for the elderly and who is willing to pass this information on to you. They can also make things a little easier by providing your loved one with a range of personal care and homemaking services.
A Short List of the Services Offered
As part of our transition care program, our team will arrive prepared to offer a wide selection of care services, including:
- Homemaking services (decluttering, light house cleaning, laundry, dishes, meal planning & cooking, etc.)
- Companionship and emotional support throughout their recovery journey
- Continuous monitoring of health and maintaining communication between the family, doctors, rehabilitation specialist, etc.
- Transportation to appointments and taking care of numerous errands.
- Personal care services including bathing, grooming, mobility assistance, incontinence support, etc.)
The Risks of Readmission
The latest statistics show that the period of peak risk of readmission occurs between the first thirty days and 180 days post-discharge. While the number of readmissions is lower than it has been in decades, it does still exist.
Among the many reasons for readmission are:
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.
Things You Can Do to Lower the Risks of Readmission
As part of your loved one's transition care program, your first step in reducing their risks of readmission is to obtain copies of the medical charts and records accumulated during their stay in the hospital. Along with the care already provided, the records may also have information on future care that may become useful should you need to reach out to their medical care team.
You've Got Questions – Find Answers
If you plan to implement your loved one's program, chances are good that you have questions. Before and after their discharge you shouldn't be afraid to seek out answers to your questions from the hospital, their medical care team, their doctor, and online. You may find it useful to have a contact number for their doctor. It wouldn't hurt to make connections with local support groups and transitional care services.
Creating Home Medical Records
In much the same way as a comprehensive set of medical records was created for your loved one while they were in the hospital, a transiton care program means it is up to you to do the same at home. This is something a home care aide is very familiar with and that they can help you with. Be sure you leave plenty of room for notes and:
- A list of appointments, what was discussed and what, if anything was done.
- A schedule that includes all family caregivers, when they will be there and what they need to do.
- A record of all medications, when they need to be taken and the correct dosage.
- Contact information, including caregivers and emergency contacts.
Prepping Your Home for Their Arrival
Whether your loved one will be staying with you during their recovery or in their own home, there are several things you need to take care of to protect their health and safety, including:
- Be sure furniture is arranged to make room for any mobility equipment.
- Install any needed safety equipment.
- Introduce your loved one to their transitional home care provider before they are discharged.
- 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.
- Be sure the house is clean and disinfected eliminating allergens and bacteria.
To learn more about transitional care or for help creating a transition care program for your loved one, contact Comfort Keepers of Fairfax, VA. Be sure to schedule a free care consultation with senior advisors to discuss your loved one's needs in detail and see what a home care aide can do for your family.