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Tips for Transitioning Seniors from Hospital to Home

By Patricia Schumacher, 9:00 am on

About 18 percent of all seniors end up back in the hospital within a month of being dismissed. In-home Rhode Island caregivers must prepare in advance so that this does not happen to the seniors they look after. Below are a few transitioning tips to help your loved one make an easy and efficient transition from hospital to home.

Medication Management

New medicines prescribed while the senior is in the hospital may interact with drugs that the senior is currently taking. Furthermore, they can interact with supplements or other things that the senior is taking. Therefore, the family caregiver should insist that a doctor look at the complete list of medications before discharging the senior from his or her care.

Physical Assistance

Changes may need to be made to the bathroom. Even if the senior seems relatively strong, now is a great time to install grab bars in the bathroom for additional safety. Alternatively, ramps may need to be built or major renovation projects undertaken to make the home more accessible for your loved one. If these projects cannot be completed fast enough, then consider a short-term stay in a facility or with a family member until work is completed.

Prevent Falls

One of the major reasons that seniors end up back in the hospital is that they fall while they are still recovering. Therefore, someone needs to walk through the home and eliminate any potential problem areas by making sure the floor is clear of obstacles and lights are installed to eliminate any shadows.

Prepare for Follow-Up

The senior may be told to follow up with many different healthcare professionals after being discharged from the hospital. Make sure each of these appointments are scheduled in advance. Keep track of them on a calendar or day planner so that everyone remembers.

Arrange Assistance

Now may be the time to start non-medical home care in Rhode Island. While these people cannot handle medicine, they can help give baths, do laundry and many other things around the home. If you decide to hire this service, make sure the arrangements are made before the senior leaves the hospital. If not, make sure that you clear your schedule or arrange for other people to stay with the senior.

When you’re ready to hire a home care agency, turn to Home Care Assistance. We provide the leading Alzheimer’s, dementia and post-stroke care Rhode Island seniors need to safely transition from the hospital to the comfort of their own homes. Call (401) 284-0979 today to set up a free consultation and learn more about our unique services.