The time has come when your elderly loved one is going to be discharged. Sometimes the announcement comes with enough advanced notice so that you can prepare for your loved one’s return to his residence or yours. If you are one of those lucky ones whose parent is discharged early during the week, you might be able to call a long list of numbers given to you by the hospital staff if you have any questions about your parent’s post-acute care. However, if your loved one is discharged on a Friday, your chances of talking to a live operator for post-acute care advice over the weekend are slim to none.
As the family caregiver or point-of-contact, you will be the one receiving any kind of information about your parent or spouse’s prognosis. Unfortunately, at the present time there is no universal system set in place when it comes to hospital discharge, and the information you relay to your caregiver (if you hire outside help) from the doctor will make the difference in how the home care service provider will understand your loved one’s needs.
Hospital discharges don’t have to be complicated. To make life easier for yourself and the caregiver you hire, follow these simple steps:
Ask your loved one’s physician for a written, detailed report that an average person can understand.
Your certified nurse assistant may understand medical jargon, but you as the family caregiver might not. To be as engaged as possible, ask for clear language so you know the medications, prognosis, type of daily living assistance and any specialized care your loved one needs upon returning home.
If your loved one requires specialized care, ask your doctor to be specific if the report contains inadequate details.
Specialized care means going beyond the normal scope of assistance with daily living (e.g., light housekeeping, meal preparation, laundry, etc.). If a patient’s condition calls for usage of a nebulizer, colostomy bag, G-tube, or other equipment, a regular family caregiver without the knowledge, training and experience of such care may do more harm than good. You can avoid hospital readmission if you get the right type of care for your loved one. Understand your limitations – what you can or cannot do for your elderly loved one.
Make sure you hire a caregiver from a 24-hour home care agency.
Knowing that you have support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, gives you an incredible peace of mind. Not every home care agency offers 24 hour support, and you might find yourself in a bind if you can’t reach anyone for immediate answers. Whether you hire a caregiver for a few hours a day or for 24 hours round-the clock, it’s always good to know in the back of your mind that you could call a hotline at any hour, day or night.
Contact us at Endeavor Home Care! Our hotline (480) 535-6800 is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our exceptional team of medical professionals is ready to answer any questions you may have about homecare services.