From Hospital To In-Home Care: 3 Ways To Ease An Elderly Parent's Transition

Posted on: 5 September 2017

A sudden illness or unexpected injury can result in a previously independent senior now needing ongoing medical care. While in some cases, seniors in this situation go into the care of a nursing home facility, many prefer to go home from the hospital, or after a short stay in a rehabilitation center. With a good in-home care agency, it's possible for your elderly parent to return to their home and still receive the care that they need. Take a look at some tips that can help you ease your senior parent's transition to in-home care after a hospital stay.

Make Needed Home Modifications

After an illness or injury, your parent may not be able to move around the house as easily as they could before. Their home may need certain modifications that will allow them to move around safely and maintain some independence. For example, after a hip replacement, your parent may need to use a walker or even a wheelchair, either temporarily or permanently. That means that they may need a ramp or stair lift installed, or their bedroom might need to be moved to a room downstairs when it was previously upstairs.

Seniors with limited mobility may also benefit from walk-in bathtubs or shower seats, raised toilet seats, more accessible handles on cabinets and drawers, and other adaptive equipment. Your parent's doctor or physical therapist can help you determine what type of home modifications that your parent needs most so that you can have those ready when your parent is ready to return home.

Know Your Parent's Care Plan

A care plan is a plan that's created with input from the patient, their doctor, and their home health agency that lays out goals for your parent's care and address what medications, treatments, and medical equipment they'll need and how they'll receive those things. If you're going to be involved in your parent's care, you should also be involved in creating a care plan and be knowledgeable about what it contains.

Your home health agency will be responsible for making sure that your parent gets the services and equipment they need, and they'll also help train you and any other family members or friends to perform administer treatments, do wound care, and help manage your parent's health. Keep in mind that care plans are meant to change as your parent's condition changes. Medicare specifies that care plans should be reviewed at least every 60 days, though it can happen more frequently if your parent's health requires it. Being informed about your parent's care plan will help you oversee their care and make sure that they're getting what they need from their home health services.

Scout Out Community Resources

Caregiving is a difficult task, even with the help of an excellent home health agency. You can't expect to be able to do everything alone. It's important to identify community resources that may be able to help you and your parent, even if you don't think you need them right now.

For example, your parent will need to be able to get to and from their doctor's appointments. Will you always be available to drive them? Does the home health agency provide that service? If not, you may want to look into your local Council on Aging, which provides transportation assistance. Will your parent be able to cook their own meals, or will someone always be on hand to do it for them? If not, you may benefit from the services provided by Meals on Wheels. Identifying these services now, whether you need them or not, can help ensure that you're prepared if a day comes when you do need them.

A good home health agency in your area can help you make your parent's transition from hospital to home as smooth as possible. Home health care providers deal with this scenario often, and they can provide you with the contacts, information, and assistance that you need. For more information, contact an in home care service.