Do I Need A Caregiver After Hospital Discharge?
From the aspect of safety and peace of mind at having someone to help monitor the condition, having a caregiver provide assistance after a hospital or rehab discharge can mean a smoother and faster recovery. The initial period following discharge from the hospital can be a vulnerable time. According to the Society of Hospital Medicine, about half of adults experience a medical error after hospital discharge and suffer an adverse event.
The first 30 days after returning home from the hospital are critical and will determine if readmission to the hospital will be necessary. Adding to the difficulties at discharge are the economic pressures on our health care system which cause patients to be released from the hospital sooner and sometimes premature to a full recovery.
Here are steps to take prior to going home:
- Make the necessary safety preparations in the home to avoid falls.
- Schedule a meeting with the hospital discharge planner to make certain you have a detailed plan of care with instructions and medications that can be used by the caregiver.
- Stock the refrigerator with healthy nutritious foods and beverages that will help the caregiver ensure proper nutrition and hydration, which is so critical to recovery.
- Put a Medication System in place to organize and track medication.
- Schedule follow up medical appointments and record in a log book so that the caregiver can provide transportation and ensure that the visits are being kept.
- Keeping the line of communication open and informative between the medical team, family and caregiver are critical to the effectiveness of long term recovery.
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