After a surgical procedure or hospital stay, it’s such a relief to hear the doctor announce, “You’re ready for discharge!” Once the papers are signed and you’re on the other side of those sliding doors, the last thing you want to do is think about returning for another hospital stay. Yet rehospitalizations are incredibly common, for a number of reasons. Make sure you’re able to stay safely at home and prevent rehospitalization with these tips.
This means ensuring you’ve correctly heard and understand all of the doctor’s instructions, and that the doctor has heard and answered all of your questions, too. One effective way to accomplish this is through the “teach-back” method. Tell the doctor what you understand and ask, “Do I have this right?” If there’s any confusion, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.
Additionally, make sure that you or a family member contact your primary care physician to let them know about the hospitalization. This is a good time to schedule any follow-up appointments, tests, or other procedures as well.
Medication mismanagement is one of the primary reasons for hospital readmissions. Know what medications are being taken before the hospitalization, what new medications are being prescribed, and confirm that there are no contraindications that may occur between any of these medications. You will also want to make sure there’s no duplication between new prescriptions and those previously prescribed. Overmedication can lead to serious consequences.
For older adults, many of whom take a number of different medications, implement a system to ensure medications are taken exactly as prescribed. A great solution is to partner with an in-home caregiver, like those at Nightingale Homecare, for medication management or reminder services.
Put together an after-care plan that includes:
- What potential side effects and symptoms to watch for – and what to do if they are noticed. There may be expected effects that aren’t cause for alarm, while others will require immediate medical attention.
- Who to call with questions or concerns, especially after-hours.
- Any available services to help you recover while preventing rehospitalization, such as home nursing care, a home health aide, occupational or physical therapy, etc.
- A system of support to help with meals, housework, yard work, errands, etc. to allow you the time needed to rest and recover.
Nightingale Homecare, a top provider of in-home senior care in Peoria, AZ and the surrounding areas, has been helping older adults with post-hospital recovery and other care needs since 1994. Our services range from non-medical help at home through skilled nursing and therapy care, and everything in between.
Let us help prevent rehospitalization with customized home health care services. Before you check into the hospital, check in with Nightingale Homecare! Contact us at (602) 504-1555 for a free in-home consultation to learn more about how we can help you or someone you love stay safe, healthy, and well at home.