Most families think that their ordeal is over after a loved one comes home from a hospital stay. However, recent studies have shown that discharged patients are vulnerable the first seven weeks after returning from the hospital. While hospitals are responsible for diagnosing and treating the patient’s condition, it is the responsibility of family members to give the patient the support they need during confinement and even after being discharged from the hospital. Therefore, it is essential to plan for the proper rehabilitation and recovery of the patient at home. Here is a checklist of crucial things to help a family member recover at home.
Provide Furniture And Tech To Fit The Patient’s Needs
A family member returning from a hospital stay may have limited physical abilities to take care of themselves. It is essential to ask the doctor of any physical limitations your family member will have and make adjustments in the home to accommodate them. For example, you may need to modify your bed or other furniture after returning home from a knee or hip surgery. Likewise, if the patient wants to go outdoors or stay in the yard for a change of scenery, let them do so, but make sure to have a medical alert system in place that will detect and inform you of falls and other medical emergencies.
It is also crucial to look at how secure the home is where your recovering patient will stay. Each year, three million elderly patients are rushed to emergency rooms because of falls inside their homes. It is, therefore, necessary to plan how to deal with the patient’s mobility and safety when left alone in the house. You may need to move furniture around or move the patient’s bed on the first floor of your home for more effortless mobility.
Home Health Care
If you do not have medical training, taking care of a recovering patient may be challenging. It is best to ask your hospital team whether your loved one is eligible for home health care and if it can be reimbursed through Medicare. Home health care will allow you to have the services of skilled nurses, therapists, and other medical staff for your family member without leaving your home. Likewise, you can ask where you can find the nearest rehabilitation centers within your immediate area.
It is also essential to determine the patient’s ability to complete normal daily activities such as cooking, eating, and doing laundry. If the patient needs assistance, you can assign schedules for family members to stay and help out. Otherwise, you can hire home care services to take the stress out of assisting the patient with daily activities.
Follow Up Appointments
Family members should keep track of upcoming doctor’s appointments. This way, you can create a schedule that indicates who will accompany the patient and when. Follow-up appointments are essential for the patient’s complete recovery, and therefore, you should do your best not to miss them.
Transitioning from a lengthy hospital stay to rehabilitating at home may be stressful for patients. However, with the help of family members or home health care services, this transition may become more effortless and will lead to their recovery and improved health.