When your aging loved one is discharged from the hospital, you must do everything in your power to keep him or her healthy and prevent secondary complications. Heading back to the hospital can greatly increase the risk of many different health complications, including infections, illnesses, and injuries from medical errors. Luckily, as a caregiver, you can do quite a bit to prevent hospital readmissions while boosting your loved one’s overall health.
Start Planning Before Discharge
One of the best things you can do for your loved one is to come up with a short-term care plan well before he or she is discharged from the hospital. To create that plan, you’ll need to have a conversation with all the doctors and medical specialists who are treating your loved one. These individuals should be able to give you information about your loved one’s care, such as what medications your loved one is going to be taking and any side effects you should keep an eye out for. When speaking with the doctors, write down as much information as possible.
A professional caregiver can be an outstanding addition to your home caregiving team. When searching for reliable home care agencies, families want to know their senior loved one will be well taken care of. At Home Care Assistance, our expertly trained caregivers are available around the clock to assist with tasks around the house, provide transportation to medical appointments and social events, and much more.
Meet with a Discharge Planner
Most major hospitals and medical centers have discharge specialists, and you should try to schedule an appointment with one of these individuals a few days before your loved one heads home. A discharge planner can help you establish a recovery timeline and send you reminders when it’s time to come back for checkups or further testing. The planner can also give you the contact information for any doctors or nurses your loved one will need to meet with in the coming months.
Prepare Your Home
Many seniors are readmitted to the hospital because their homes weren’t properly prepared. Before your loved one gets home, you must set up a recovery area where he or she is going to be comfortable. You might also need to add some safety features to the home, such as additional lighting in the hallways and grab bars in the bathrooms. These inexpensive upgrades can greatly reduce the risk of an accident that sends your loved one back to the hospital.
Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Green Valley, AZ, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver.
Avoid Medication Errors
Medication errors are very common among the elderly, and these types of mishaps often result in life-threatening health complications. To avoid medication errors, come up with a system that allows you to carefully track all the drugs your loved one is taking. Paper spreadsheets can be very useful, but many caregivers also use medication tracking apps. One of these apps will send you an alert when it’s time for your loved one to take his or her medication. You might also want to invest in a “smart” pill organizer that sends alerts whenever it’s opened at the wrong time.
Green Valley senior care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call 520-625-2050 today.