Dawn Smith: Hello! I am Dawn Smith with Kindred at Home. I am here to discuss home healthcare services following hospitalization and how you can reduce your risk of an unplanned re-hospitalization during recovery.
You never know when an emergency hospitalization might happen. Even if you schedule an elective procedure outcomes are uncertain. Everyone recovers differently based on countless and sometimes unpredictable factors. Thats why its always a good idea to spend time planning what will happen after you go home from the hospital. Its nice to be optimistic about how quickly you recover, but its smart to plan ahead for contingencies.
In the case of older adults the post hospitalization challenges are often magnified. Most of the patients cared for by Kindred at Home and other home health agencies are elderly with many of the age-related issues that alleviate their risk for complications. Its best for your discharge planning to begin before leaving the hospital. A family discharge plan helps everyone understand your condition, which medications to administer and the type of care you will need.
You should also ask your doctor whether you will need skilled nursing or therapy services and if you will need someone to stay with you throughout the day. When will you be able to resume normal activities? How many follow-up appointments are needed and when? What are the prescribed medications and how often do you need to take them? Establish who will be your primary caregiver and how flexible he or she will be. Make sure everyone involved fully understands the details and is comfortable with the arrangements. Ensure that the primary caregiver has time off and remains healthy by assigning a backup caregiver, either another relative or close friend.
You may also consider a personal home care assistance agency that can sustain the intense level of care giving thats required for safe and faster recovery. A full service agency such as Kindred at Home can provide both medical and nonmedical care. Learn what insurance is if any will cover cost and what needs to be paid out of pocket. If you have Medicare, home health services will generally be covered if your doctor prescribes it and if you were homebound or have great difficulty moving about, be sure to ask your doctor about it because most people who otherwise would qualify for home healthcare dont know to request it.
Be prepared, it will make a big difference in your recovery.