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Plan for a Smooth Hospital Discharge

Article audio is made possible by CAST11 Prescott Podcast Network. A Talking Glass Media production.

Nobody enjoys being a patient in the hospital. As you get older, it’s the one place you dread the most. Whether it’s an overnight visit or an extended stay at the hospital, the time away from the comforts of home can challenge a senior’s physical and mental health.

After coming home, the last thing a senior wants is a return trip to the medical facility.

Plan for a Smooth Hospital Discharge signals az

Unfortunately, this scenario is a sad and common reality for many individuals over the age of 65. Many seniors tend to be readmitted within 30 days of a hospital discharge due to preventable factors such as:

  • Medication issues
  • Not following diet recommendations
  • Falls and accidents
  • Missed medical appointments
  • Certain diseases such as heart issues, diabetes, stroke

Reduce hospital readmission risks by learning what questions to ask and understanding why professional home care can be vital for seniors after a stint in the hospital.

Questions to Ask During a Hospital Discharge

The hospital discharge process often feels onerous, and seniors and their family members may leave confused. Here are some questions to ask before your senior loved one leaves the facility:

What do I need to know about before discharge?

Make sure you get all information about your loved one’s condition from the hospital staff. Understand what they have been diagnosed with and what kind of care they received in the facility. Learn which symptoms will require follow-up from a medical professional.

Are there any changes to medication?

Ask the hospital staff to provide you a list of prescribed medications. Make sure you understand the dosages and recommended times. Also, confirm which medications your loved one should no longer take.

What upcoming appointments are needed?

Get a list of upcoming medical appointments and mark them on your calendar. Follow-up appointments will help a doctor confirm recovery is on track.

What additional support is recommended?

Many seniors need non-medical support — such as help with mobility, bathing or dressing, and other household tasks — following a hospital stay. Ask hospital staff what kind of in-home care support your loved one requires.

What are the step-by-step discharge instructions?

Make sure to get clear, easy-to-understand documented instructions before discharge and review them with the staff. Make copies so both you and your loved one have the same information to follow.

In-Home Program for Seniors Post Hospital

Many family caregivers underestimate the support needed for seniors to continue on the road to recovery. With proper support and planning, you can reduce the risk of re-hospitalization.

Consider enrolling in the Visiting Angels’ Ready, Set, Go Home program, which helps seniors transition from a hospital to a home setting safely and effectively.

Our Visiting Angels’ care coordinators are available to discuss your loved one’s needs during and following a hospital stay via a free care consultation.

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