How to Transition from Hospital to In-Home Health Care


While a hospitalization is common for older adults, it is still a scary and stressful situation for seniors, their families, and caregivers. As we age, our bodies take much longer to heal and discharge is often followed by extended periods of rehabilitation, either in skilled nursing facilities or at home. One of the most troublesome areas of seniors’ hospitalization is the transition period between leaving in-patient care and going to aftercare.

According to an Inside Elder Care article, Medicare statistics report that one in five senior patients will be readmitted to the hospital within thirty days of discharge. To prevent this and ensure a smooth shift to rehab, the proper preparation and attention to detail will make all the difference in a successful outcome.

If a home-based recovery is planned, as the patient’s discharge is discussed, the doctor, nurses, and other healthcare providers will begin planning what will be needed at home. Arrangements for obtaining medical equipment, such as oxygen or assistive devices for showering and using the toilet can be made early on in the patient’s care. Any accommodations to the patient’s living quarters will also need to be addressed, like making room for a hospital bed.

Medications and Necessary Care
Medication management is another area of prospective risk to older adults. Understanding any new medications and/or dosage requirements is critical. New treatments, such as physical therapy will have their own special requirements. These services are a key part of what is offered by home health care agency professionals. The in-home care required for the patient will vary per the doctor’s plan. Some older adults will only need nursing and therapies several times a week while others will require 24-hour care.

Communication between healthcare personnel, the patient, and family is especially important. If you are assisting in the care of the patient, be sure you understand the scope of that care and what will be involved. Ask questions and contact the home health care coordinators with any concerns. If there are any changes made in the patient’s care plan, ask to be informed of the details and purpose.

SeniorLiving.Net is a free service for families to use that are looking for senior care or senior living for a loved one. Call (866) 662-0435 to speak to your local Care Advisor about senior care providers in your local area.