Help with Post Discharge

Just a little help with post discharge from Divine Providence Home Health Care……..

Complications to health arise speedily with the elderly.  The latest statistic tells us that 200,000 people sixty-five and older are hospitalized on the average of each year.  The reasons are many and various, but the most common are: falls (due to balance issues and Osteoporosis), heart disease, diabetes complications, dehydration/malnutrition, postop surgery care, and the diagnosis on a steep incline is Alzheimer’s with post discharge

Before many of the admitted elderly hospital patients can be discharged, plans have to be made for homecare services.  Homecare service is a team of licensed, medical personnel that bring quality care to the home of the elderly patient.  The range of care involves nurses, nurse’s assistants, dieticians, and physical and occupational therapists.  Before homecare can take place, there are steps that need to be taken for preparation.

* The discharging physician must write an order for homecare.  If the physician believes that the patient cannot give themselves quality care, he/she will advise homecare.

* Finding a homecare service to fit the elderly’s care needs is of the upmost importance.  Questions to ask while looking for a homecare service are: Is the agency state licensed? Is every employee at the agency licensed by the state?  Will my loved one have the same employee every time administering care? Are the agency employees sensitive and caring?

* Payment will be arranged before the patient is discharged.  Medicare is normally the primary source of payment.  Hospital personnel will discuss and finalize any issue pertaining to payment.

* Any medical equipment needed for homecare will be ordered and delivered to the patient’s home before discharge.  They type of equipment or machinery depends on the illness of the patient.  Most commonly used are: hospital beds, (for easier maneuvering), oxygen concentrator, air purifiers, artificial limbs, Infusion pump, CPAP, wheelchairs, and walking aids, such as crutches, canes, and walkers.

Description of Duties

Each homecare employee is professionally trained.  Each person works individually, but within the medical team.  It is important to understand the duties of each trained professional.

* Nurse- administers medications and closely keeps track of vital signs.

* Nurse’s Assistant- provides bathing assistance, including bed baths, and help with personal care, such as brushing teeth, combing hair, and, but not limited to, helping the patient dress.

* Physical Therapist- provides exercises to maintain/improve strength and movement.

* Occupational Therapist- provides exercises to help restore daily living, such as bathing and dressing.

* Speech Therapist- provides exercises that improve, maintain, and/or restore speech.  Speech Therapy is often needed after a patient suffers from a stroke.

* Respite Care- provides services to relieve a caregiver.

Help with post discharge is a requirement. It is never easy when a decision has to be made of whether or not an elderly loved one is capable of managing his/her own care proficiently.

However, when an elderly person is in need of homecare, you do not have to go through the steps alone.  There are many medical personnel that have trained diligently on how to administer quality care in the privacy of the patient’s own home.  Homecare allows the patient to receive health care while remaining in comfortable, familiar surroundings. Make sure your elderly loved one has help with post discharge.


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