It can be challenging to transition back to being at home after a hospital stay, but support and planning can make a huge difference in making the move smoother.
With the various health concerns and increased risks that can often accompany older age, many seniors find themselves spending periods of time in the hospital for care and supervision. While returning home to one’s own space and environment can be an incredibly wonderful and comforting idea following time spent in the hospital, there is often some fear and anxiety associated with the transition and with arranging everything that is required to keep up proper care for recovery and health whilst back at home.
A good transitionary period can make a big difference and can help decrease seniors’ chances of having to return to the hospital, so making sure to get everything in order ahead of time and put measures in place that will keep seniors safe, happy, and well-connected to the resources and support systems they need is incredibly important.
It can be overwhelming for loved-ones of seniors to think about all the things that must be done when preparing to bring a senior home from the hospital, so the first thing to always remember is that support and assistance are always available from services like Retire-At-Home. Having someone to help address questions and figure out all the logistics of care and support can help to lighten some of the load and make things feel a little more manageable.
Keeping a running list of questions and concerns as you think of them can be helpful so that nothing gets forgotten or missed in the process of talking to healthcare professionals and determining what needs to be done to best tend to seniors’ health and wellbeing once they are back in their home environment.
Before heading home, there are some basic but important things that need to be addressed to set everyone up for a successful transition:
- Equipment: Making sure that all the necessary supplies and equipment are already there waiting at the house upon arrival can help make the transition more seamless. Arranging to pick up or have delivered any devices that can help seniors to feel more comfortable and safe in their home post-hospital beforehand means it is one less thing to worry about when you are working on settling everything back in.
- Medication: Before being discharged from the hospital, make sure to have a detailed conversation regarding medication management that is required at home. Having a very clear understanding of what medications are required when, and in what amounts before leaving the hospital means that there won’t have to be any sudden stress of trying to figure it all out when back at home. It is also important to put a plan in place to keep up on prescriptions so that seniors are never without the medications they need.
- Appointments: There are often follow-up appointments with healthcare professionals that come after a hospital stay to check on things and keep an eye on any pertinent developments. With all the hustle and bustle of the transition back to the house, it can be easy to forget scheduling things like appointments, so it is important to make a list of any upcoming visits in a system that will make sure they are remembered. Make sure to always have the contact information of the healthcare professionals involved in care so that it is easy to clarify the timing of any appointments, as well as anything that is required for the appointments themselves.
- Expectations: When it comes to seniors’ health, there can be a lot of ups and downs in the recovery process following time spent in the hospital. Having a conversation with healthcare professionals at the hospital about what to expect upon returning home can help provide a better understanding of what is coming and can also outline anything that indicates a problem in need of attention. Remaining vigilant and aware, while having a base understanding of what should and should not be a normal part of the process can help in recovery and can get professionals involved early if issues arise.
Getting to be back in their own space is something that can be a comfort to seniors following time spent in the hospital. The transition itself can be stressful, but a bit of planning can make all the difference in setting seniors up for a successful and comfortable recovery.