After a lengthy stay in the hospital due to a traumatic car accident or surgery, 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 adequate care and for good reason. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported in September of 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 home care. 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 proper post-hospitalization care. However, post-hospitalization home care can reduce the risk of readmission and help ensure a speedy recovery.
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, availability of friends and family, or inadequate ability to care for the patient.
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 aides can help with daily living tasks that could cause further injury to a patient who has just gotten out of surgery 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 activities could potentially cause and injury and require readmission. With the help of a home care aide, 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 can ensure that medications are taken responsibly and on-time — they can also monitor any side-effects that may occur so that a doctor can be notified.
Continuous care and monitoring by experienced home care specialists help identify problems faster and alerts the patient and medical professionals to concerns that could cause readmission if not addressed early enough during the recovery process.
Along with the safety value that in-home care provides, it 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 — these are just some of the many benefits that home care provides to patients recovering after a hospital stay.