Your family member has been released from the hospital, and you’re happy to have them home. However, you’re also worried about providing appropriate support. Use these five suggestions to better care for loved ones after a hospital discharge.
Tips for Caring for Loved Ones After a Hospital Discharge
Be Patient with Your Patient
Most people return home from the hospital before they are fully recovered. Thus, assume it will take time before your loved one can function at the same level as before their hospital stay. In fact, many patients require anywhere from 3 days to a week to recover from each day in the hospital. So, if your loved one had an 8-day hospital stay, they may not be their old self again for months.
Ask for Medical Advice
You may not know what to expect after a hospital release. Therefore, take advantage of your resources. Many facilities offer discharge planning guides for families. Or ask your loved one’s doctors and nurses for advice. Explore questions such as: How long with the recovery take? Will they be able to bathe and/or use the bathroom independently? Are specific treatments necessary that would be best provided by medical professionals? These inquiries should help you make the necessary arrangements without becoming overwhelmed.
Modify Living Spaces as Needed
Depending on the situation, you may decide to make modifications to your loved one’s living arrangements. Consider buying/renting specialized equipment, such as a hospital bed, as well as creating a space favorable to healing. For example, if your patient is having trouble climbing stairs, you could temporarily move their bedroom to the first floor.
Think About Hiring In-Home Caregivers
If you suspect your new set of responsibilities will be more than you can handle, think about hiring in-home help. Fortunately, healthcare staffing agencies are designed specifically for this purpose. These agencies offer easy access to trained professionals plus lots of flexibility. For instance, you could bring in a certified nursing assistant (CNA) for one week of round-the-clock care. Or you could ask a caregiver to drop in once a day, for a month, to assist with meals. Often Medicaid, Medicare, and/or health insurance will cover all or part of home care services costs especially after a hospital stay.
Coordinate Follow-up Care
In addition to in-home care, your loved one probably will require follow-up medical care. This could include doctor’s appointments, rehabilitation, prescription refills, and more. Since your patient most likely won’t be able to handle these responsibilities on their own, make the necessary arrangements in advance. Add important dates to a calendar and figure out how to fulfill those duties. In many cases, an in-home caregiver can assist with tasks like transportation, errands, and scheduling.
Do You Need In-Home Care for Your Loved One After Their Hospital Stay?
Anodyne Staffing places compassionate and reliable in-home caregivers with families in need throughout Eastern Massachusetts. Our highly trained professionals are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for full-time, part-time, long-term, and short-term assignments. Don’t struggle through a hospital discharge on your own! Learn more about the benefits of Anodyne’s home care services today.