Posted by Steve Jones
Thu, Dec 19, 2013
Emergencies, accidents and even scheduled surgeries can put the elderly in the hospital for days or weeks at a time. While under the care of nurses and doctors, these people receive top-notch healthcare, but little thought is put towards what comes after their discharge from a medical facility.
In many cases, elderly patients get approximately 24 hours or a weekend of notice before they are sent home, leaving family members and caregivers with limited time to arrange for special services, prepare the home for a recovering person and conduct research on what assistance programs may be available through the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC).
A Step By Step Approach
Without proper experience families and caregivers can't always anticipate the needs of their loved-ones at the time of discharge. Fortunately, Qualicare provides some of the best hospital support in the industry, giving families the peace of mind that comes with knowing their aged loved ones have their medical needs met.
Qualicare's hospital support provides:
Proper Discharge Procedure: When someone is released from hospital many of the daily tasks performed at that medical facility are transferred to the care team. Medications, treatments and physical care needs to continue but is often carried out by family members with no healthcare experience or caregivers that weren't present when the doctors release orders/recommendations were given. Consistent care delivery from hospital bed to home ensures loved ones receive all the care they need throughout their recovery.
Home Preparation: Immediately after discharge elderly people may have reduced mobility and cognitive functions. Creating a stable and safe environment, especially in the bedroom and bathroom, allows the comforts and familiarity of home while providing the recovery conditions they need to heal. In some cases this means hiring an in-home nurse or Personal Support Worker (PSW) to make meals, administer medications and communicate with family members.
Community Care Access Centre Services: It's important for families to know they aren't on their own. Some elderly people leaving the hospital qualify for follow-up services from the CCAC. Contact the CCAC partner closest to you and see what sort of hospital support you and your family can get. Visit healthcareathome.ca to find the CCAC near you.
Continued Care: Sometimes recovery can take much longer for the elderly. This means their medications and treatment plans can last for months after discharge. With proper care, prescriptions stay filled and continued to be administered in a timely fashion.
Transit Assistance: Getting people home from hospital can be difficult depending on their situation. Immobilized limbs or intravenous solutions can't be easily transported in a normal road vehicle. In many cases Qualicare can negotiate ambulance transportation upon discharge for those who need it.
Family Support and Counseling: In some cases the patient isn't the only person that needs assistance. Admittance and discharge from hospital can be an emotional and stressful time for family members and caregivers. Proper guidance can reassure close relatives that every measure is being taken to care for their loved ones whether they live near or far.
Many people can be at risk of improperly discontinuing their medications after discharge, when hospital support ends, shown by a recent study of approximately 400,000 Ontario patients. According to the report more than 19% of general elderly patients didn't renew their prescriptions in the three months after being released. In the cases of people admitted to the intensive care unit that number increased to 23%. This results in a significant risk of hospitalization, and in some cases death.
Regardless of the possible causes, the study reinforced the need for hospital support to continue after patients are discharged from care.