After a lengthy stay in the hospital due to a traumatic car accident, surgery or illness, the thought of taking care of yourself can be scary and overwhelming. Especially if your body is still recovering and you don’t feel like you can take care of your everyday living tasks like bathing, cooking, cleaning or even driving. After hospitalization, many people are afraid of not having the adequate care and for good reason. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported in September 2019 that being discharged from the hospital can be a dangerous event. Nearly 20% of patients experience adverse events within three weeks of discharge, three-quarters of which were preventable.
Many adverse events can be related to the transition from hospital care to their home. Assessing a patient's ability to take care of themselves or to have adequate support and care after discharge can be difficult. Patients are often left vulnerable to the health care system without the proper post-hospitalization care. However, post-hospitalization home care can reduce the risk of readmission and help ensure a speedy recovery.
"20% of patients experience adverse events within 3 weeks of discharge; 75% were preventable"
Even patients who have help from friends and family can face readmission after a hospital stay. This is often due to confusion and miscommunication during the discharge process from the hospital, or inadequate ability to care for the patient once they return to their home.
Professional In-Home Care
Many of the risks that arise during post-hospital recovery can be reduced or eliminated by hiring a professional in-home aide who is trained and experienced in providing post-hospital care to people who need support.
In-home caregivers can help with daily living tasks that could cause further injury to a patient who was recently discharged or is recovering from injuries due to a car accident. Many people do not adequately follow the directions of the hospital after they return home due to a lack of care and support. Feeding pets, preparing a meal, buying groceries – all of these simple activities can potentially cause an injury and require readmission. With the help of in-home caregivers, these activities can be taken care of without adding risk to the patient.
After returning home from a hospital stay, patients may find it difficult to remember when to take medications, how the medications should be administered and what the proper dosages are, or to get prescriptions refilled. In-home care provides medication reminders so medications are taken responsibly and on-time; caregivers can also monitor any side-effects that may occur so that a doctor can be notified.
Continuous care and monitoring by experienced in-home caregivers help identify problems faster and can alert the patient and medical professionals of concerns that could cause readmission if not addressed early enough during the recovery process.
Along with the safety value that in-home care provides, home care also allows patients to recover in their own comfortable environments where they aren’t constantly interrupted by noise outside the hospital rooms and nurses checking in on them. Comfort alone can help people relax and recover a little faster; and these are just some of the many benefits that home care provides to patients recovering after a hospital stay.
"$17B is the annual cost of hospital readmissions"