Be a Transitional Care Specialist in Herndon, VA
Comfort Keepers of Herndon, VA can help you become the skilled transitional care specialist your elderly loved one needs
Having an elderly loved one come to live with you following a long stay in the hospital can be a cause for celebration. At the same time, doing so brings with it a lot of responsibility and hard work.
Give us a call at (703) 424-9519 to learn more!
How Much Should I Prepare?
One of the best ways to make your loved one's transition home from the hospital as comfortable as possible is to help everyone in your family become a transitional care specialist. You need everyone on board and on the same page, including family members who will be helping, your loved one, their doctor, and their caregiver.
The Percentage of Readmissions Is High
- 25% of seniors who are discharged to nursing homes have a higher risk of readmission within 30 days.
- 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.
- 75% of these readmissions can be prevented.
- One in five seniors will be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days.
Being Your Loved One's Specialist Is Challenging
Long before your loved one was scheduled to be discharged from the hospital and sent home; their medical team was hard at work taking care of their every need. As their transitional care specialist, it falls on you to ensure your loved one continues to receive the care they need to recover successfully.
The hardest part of being there for your loved one is not realizing the physical and emotional drain this can put on you and every member of your family. Along with plenty of hard work, you need to learn everything you can about providing them with the transitional care they need. When you ask to have a Comfort Keepers caregiver come to your home to assist, we send a person who has been trained as a specialist and will be happy to share their knowledge with you. Your role as a caregiver is crucial to their recovery and our goal is to help make this possible.
What Can a Comfort Keepers Caregiver Do to Help?
- Transportation to appointments and taking care of numerous errands.
- Continuous monitoring of health and maintaining communication between the family, doctors, rehabilitation specialist, etc.
- Companionship and emotional support throughout their recovery journey
- Homemaking services (decluttering, light house cleaning, laundry, dishes, meal planning & cooking, etc.)
- Personal care services including bathing, grooming, mobility assistance, incontinence support, etc.)
The High Risk of Readmission
Statistically speaking, the highest risk of an elderly patient having to be readmitted to the hospital for more care is during the first 30 to 180 days. While these percentages are significantly lower than just a few years ago, they are still too high.
What Can Lead to Your Loved One Being Readmitted?
There are a number of situations that could result in your loved one's readmission to the hospital, including.
- Secondary Diagnoses – covering those patients who develop a medical condition or display severe symptoms not seen during their hospitalization.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Important Steps You Need to Take to Help Reduce the Risk of Readmission
Before the doctor gives the OK for your loved one to be released, it is your job as their transitional care specialist to ask for copies of the medical records created during their stay in hospital. These records contain information regarding what treatments were completed in the hospital along with information about the type of transitional care and medications they will need at home. You may also find this information useful should the need arise to contact their doctor or medical care team.
Questions Are In Order
Unless you have played the role before, you probably have plenty of questions. Your loved one's medical care team and doctor may be able to answer many of them. You can also reach out to local transitional care support groups and transitional care providers.
While You Are Providing Your Loved One With the Care They Need
In order to ensure your loved one is getting the care they need, one of the most important jobs you have is to keep records of everything. You can do this by creating your own version of their medical care charts. Your Comfort Keepers caregiver can help with this. The information you put in their chart will come in handy if you need to talk to their doctor alone. The chart should have plenty of space for notes and:
- A list of appointments, what was discussed and what, if anything was done.
- Contact information, including caregivers and emergency contacts.
- 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.
The more detailed and accurate the information you put in their chart, the easier it will be in the event you have to talk to their doctor or take them back to the hospital.
A Safe and Healthy House is Required
One of the most important jobs you have is to make sure your home (or theirs) is ready for them to come home to. Among the steps you need to take are:
- 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.
- Install any needed safety equipment.
- Be sure the house is clean and disinfected eliminating allergens and bacteria.
- Place items that are used daily within easy reach.
- Introduce your loved one to their transitional home care provider before they are discharged.
To learn more about caring for your loved one and to arrange for a transitional care specialist to come to your home and help, contact Comfort Keepers of Herndon, VA at (703) 424-9519. We can set an appointment with one of our senior advisors to come to your home for a free in-home consultation before your loved one is due to be discharged so that everything is ready for the day they come home.