When your parent is ready to be discharged from a hospital, short-term help could prevent him or her from being readmitted. About 1 in 5 Medicare patients is re-admitted within 30 days according to the New England Journal of Medicine. Often discharge instructions are not understood, medications are changed (but no one cleans out the medicine cabinet at home) and sometimes follow-up appointments with primary care doctors don’t get scheduled.
Be pro-active when parents are hospitalized, even with those who are fiercely independent. Most of us at any age are somewhat off balance after an illness in more ways than one . However, our aging family members have even more difficulty regaining strength due to the aging process. Try to convince your parent to agree to even a few hours a day of caregiving support after any hospitalization. Reminding the elder of new routines (part of the discharge plan), new medications and even new diets can be the difference between health and a re-admission.
Eldercare Services’ Geriatric Care Managers coordinate discharges in a personal client-centered way that can result in increased health and independence. Short-time help for long-term wellness.