Discharge from the hospital can be exciting, as you’re about to bring your aging parent or loved one back home. However, as a caregiver, you’re also about to assume additional roles without the immediate help of a team of healthcare providers. The following are some tips to help you carry out your duty successfully.
When you arrive home from the hospital, you should have discharge paperwork from your loved one’s provider to refer to. These instructions are vitally important to read and follow. The directions will include a list of needed medications, referrals, follow-up appointments, and pending laboratory results. Additionally, the packet should include educational information relevant to the patient’s diagnosis. This information will serve as a guide for your caregiving. Importantly, the text should also outline reasons to contact your doctor or return to the hospital.
Once you’ve read over these materials, it will be important to ensure that the home is safe. Make sure that walkways are clear of clutter in order to prevent falls, and check the air filters to make sure they’re clean, as older adults are more susceptible to airway pollutants and microbes.
Additionally, your loved one may require assistance with toileting or other daily-living activities. These issues were most likely addressed in the hospital, but you need to confirm that all necessary equipment is available. If you are unable to meet your loved one’s needs regarding daily-living activities, plan for assistance ahead of time — either from professional part-time or live-in caregivers in Sonoma County who are trained to assist seniors safely, and with dignity and respect.
As you and your loved one settle in, you might want to consider collecting important dates and phone numbers onto a single document. Important follow-up visits and trips to the pharmacy will need to be seen through, in order to ensure that your loved one does not lose his or her progress. This can be done by placing a list on a refrigerator to take notes or keeping a date book.
Everyone’s an individual, and some people will require more care than others. Remember to listen to your loved one’s needs. Retaining independence is important, but sometimes people can push themselves too far. By promoting safety, and following the doctor’s advice and recommendations, you will be more likely to accomplish the goal of maximizing your loved one’s level of autonomy.
Interested in learning more about care for a senior after a hospital stay? Reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of home care Sonoma County families trust. Our friendly and knowledgeable Care Managers are available 24/7 to answer questions and can help you schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation to learn more about our services. Call 707-843-4368 today.