At-Home Senior Care Tips for the Critical 72-Hour Post-Discharge Period
Home Care Tips
Jan 16, 2024
3 min read
The 72 hours following hospital discharge or a medical procedure are a critical time, particularly for those with elderly loved ones. This period marks the delicate transition from a hospital setting to the familiarity of home. Studies indicate that patients face challenges during these initial hours, struggling with medication regimens, symptom management, and adjustments to health care routines (1). Providing support and proper care during this timeframe can significantly impact patient outcomes and reduce the risk of readmission.
Despite the importance of this critical transition, it often goes overlooked. Limited data exists on caregiving institutions emphasizing the significance of the post-discharge period. However, one exception is Care Indeed, a prominent home care provider in California, specifically serving the Bay Area. They recognize the gravity of the first 72 hours post-discharge and have implemented a specialized program catering to clients in need of urgent care during this crucial period. Care Indeed implements programs with kindness at the core of their approach. Above all, they prioritize that the deep understanding in ensuring seniors lead a life they truly deserve is what matters most.
The 72-hour post-discharge program at Care Indeed aims to seamlessly bridge the gap in care continuity from the hospital to the client's home. This involves close coordination with the respective healthcare teams to formulate a personalized discharge plan, ensuring a smooth transition for the individual.
To optimize care during these critical hours, the following home care tips for the elderly have been identified:
- Medication Management: Ensure the elderly person comprehends their medication regimen and assist in organizing medications for the next few days. More information on medication management can be found at: Medication Management
- Follow-up Appointments: Schedule and accompany the elderly person to follow-up appointments with their healthcare providers within the first 72 hours. This proactive approach addresses concerns, monitors progress, and ensures the necessary care is received
- Home Safety: Conduct a thorough assessment of the home environment for potential hazards. Make necessary modifications, such as removing tripping hazards, installing grab bars in the bathroom, ensuring easy access to essential items, and improving lighting to reduce the risk of falls.
- Support with Daily Activities: Assist the elderly person with daily activities, including meal preparation, personal hygiene, and mobility.
- Emotional Support: Recognize the emotional challenges the elderly person may face during this transition. Offer emotional support to alleviate anxiety or worry associated with the shift from the hospital to home.
In conclusion, the first 72 hours post-discharge represent a critical period requiring focused attention and support. By acknowledging the challenges and implementing comprehensive care strategies, we can contribute to positive patient outcomes and minimize the likelihood of readmission, ultimately ensuring a smoother transition to at-home senior care for our elderly loved ones.
(1) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). (2017). Home Health Quality Reporting Program (HH QRP): Guidance on Description of OASIS Timing. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5466361/
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