One of the leading causes of hospital readmissions is the lack of adequate support following a hospital discharge. To help make a patient’s transition home smooth and successful, Home Care Assistance is committed to educating seniors and their loved ones about post-hospitalization care through our Hospital to Home Care program, a comprehensive set of resources for families managing the sometimes difficult transition home after hospitalization.
The first 72 hours home are critical for post-hospitalization patients. Patients are fatigued and family members are often confused and helpless. In addition to a comprehensive discharge plan, a caregiver can help manage the transition home and help you on the path towards a successful recovery.
Remember that recovery is a gradual process and can take anywhere from a few weeks to months. Below are 6 steps to a successful recovery:
- Dependence. When you first arrive home, your primary goal should be to rest and recover. A caregiver can support your recovery by handling household tasks such as meal preparation, running errands and relieving unnecessary stress so that you can focus on recommended therapy activities, diet and relaxation. Don’t be concerned if you need more help than you expected.
- Mild independence. As you start to gain strength, identify tasks that you can now manage independently, such as eating or walking down the stairs, and slowly wean yourself off of care in those areas. Never compromise your safety; ask your caregiver to step in if you feel uncomfortable.
- Supervised independence. As you continue gaining strength, your caregiver’s primary role will be supervision rather than direct physical assistance. Try to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) – bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, walking – independently.
- Supported independence. Once comfortable with ADLs, try incorporating chores or errands into your routine, such as a trip to the grocery store accompanied by your caregiver or preparing a meal together. Though they may seem small, these incremental steps are important milestones in your recovery.
- Semi-supported independence. Try taking a hold of day-to-day tasks and resume your pre-hospitalization routine. Although your caregiver is there to help, try not to take advantage of that assistance unless you really need it.
- Full independence. When you feel that you can safely return to your regular activities without your caregiver’s support, you may consider reducing care. Remember that full independence is a long-term goal and should not be prioritized over safety.
Home Care Assistance hopes to help make the transition from hospital to home smooth for you or a loved one by offering the knowledge required to navigate the discharge process and post-hospitalization care with ease. For a comprehensive overview of the challenges and resources associated with the transition home from the hospital, the hospital discharge process, post-hospitalization care and more, visit www.HospitaltoHomeCare.com or purchase a copy of our book, From Hospital to Home Care: A Step by Step Guide to Providing Care to Patients Post Hospitalization, on Amazon.com.