The transition period following a long hospital stay is a time when seniors are at their most vulnerable. Trying to do too much too soon or not being able to follow discharge instructions can easily lead to a readmission. Families and at-home caregivers in Annapolis should use these strategies to prevent complications once their loved one returns home.
Watch for Medication Side Effects
New medications are often prescribed before a patient is discharged from the hospital. Often, these medications come with side effects that could place a senior’s safety at risk. For example, many pain medications may cause dizziness or confusion that could lead to a fall. A senior could also be allergic to a new medication. For this reason, caregivers should familiarize themselves with each new medication and keep a close eye out for any potential side effects that require medical attention.
Create a Clear Floor Path
When a person has been confined to a hospital bed for a long stay, it may take time for him or her to regain balance and strength. This is especially true if a person is still adjusting to using a mobility aid such as a walker. Before a senior comes home, try to have someone assess the floor plan of his or her house. Remove rugs and cords that could pose a tripping hazard, and arrange for enough space so that a senior can easily maneuver around furniture and other potential obstacles.
Plan for Personal Hygiene
In addition to injuries, infections are a common cause of hospital readmissions. Yet, many people are not quite up to being able to manage their personal hygiene independently during the first few weeks of recovery. This is especially true for those who were given wound care instructions during the discharge process. Therefore, families may want to reach out to an elder care agency in Annapolis and arrange for someone who can stop by each day to help their loved one with simple hygiene routines such as bathing or changing bandages.
Ensure your senior loved one has a safe transition from hospital to home with help from Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can be present in the hospital, take daily CareNotes for family members and medical professionals, and assist with a wide range of tasks. To learn more about any of our care services, including stroke, Alzheimer’s, and dementia care in Annapolis, please call 443-302-2771 today.