How to Get Safe Care for Seniors After Hospital Discharge

A stay in the hospital, whether it’s for illness or for surgery, can cause anxiety for patients and loved ones. Understandably, everyone involved is eager for their loved one to return home and get back to their normal routine as soon as possible. However, the majority of recovery takes place after hospital discharge, and difficulties can arise once a senior returns home. In fact, one out of five elderly patients wind up back in the hospital within 30 days of hospital discharge!

Some of these readmissions could be prevented with better follow up care. If your senior loved one is returning home after a hospital stay, how can you make sure that they get proper care after their discharge?

Good Communication

Before your loved one leaves the hospital, they should understand their hospital discharge instructions completely. This includes the need for any therapy, services, or assistance. Many seniors return home with new medications or different doses of previous medications that need to be followed. They may also have specific limitations on activity or special dietary requirements. In addition, it’s important to understand possible complications and to have a plan in place for what to do if issues arise.

If you are present when your loved one is talking with doctors, or other members of their care team, don’t be afraid to ask questions to help you understand their illness and treatments. Anyone involved in caring for your loved one once they return home should be aware of their specific care needs.

Getting Care at Home

In some cases, seniors may spend some time at a rehabilitation facility before they return home. This may be what they need to aid their recovery and ease the transition to life at home. But whether your loved one is returning home after short-term rehab or going directly from the hospital, there are things that they need to have a safe return.

It’s not uncommon for seniors to receive home visits from nurses or therapists. While their skills will be valuable in achieving a complete recovery, more may be required.

If seniors resume normal activities of daily living too quickly, it could impact their healing. Until they’ve recovered sufficient strength, stamina, balance, and cognitive skills, they may need some help with normal household responsibilities. Some day-to-day tasks that many seniors could use assistance with include:

  • laundry, cleaning, or other light housekeeping jobs
  • shopping
  • meal preparation
  • medication management
  • assistance with a doctor-approved exercise program
  • transportation to appointments

If you or other family members live close by, you may be able to provide the needed help. If distance is an issue, or if your schedule doesn’t allow you to do all your loved one needs, then a home care service may be the answer.

An experienced caregiver can aid in the recovery process, improve your loved one’s quality of life, ensure that discharge instructions are followed, and give you peace of mind. Making sure your loved one gets the care they need will lessen the chance of complications. The relationship you establish now could help your loved one in the future as their needs increase.

Visit the Davis Community’s Assisted Living and SNF in Wilmington NC

If you or loved one are no longer capable of living a safe, independent lifestyle, then call the Davis Community today at 910.686.7195 or simply complete and submit our online information request form. We provide exceptional assisted living and skilled nursing services in Wilmington, NC.  We offer a strong and supportive environment where your loved one will feel welcomed and part of an active community. Davis Community is pleased to offer customized concierge home care services, including meal preparation and nutritional guidance, to independent seniors living in Landfall, Cambridge Village, Wrightsville Beach and Porter’s Neck, NC. Get to know the difference today — schedule a visit to the Davis Community!


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