As people get older, the chances that they will need to stay in hospital for an extended period of time increase. Once the immediate reason for admission to hospital has been taken care of, it is likely that the elderly patient will still need to be cared for in a number of ways.
Rather than simply discharging the patient from a NHS hospital and leaving them to fend for themselves, it is essential to make sure that there is already a care and support system in place and a number of important precautions need to be taken.
Elderly patients who have been staying in hospital for a considerable period of time due to physical or mental infirmity are likely to find that they need some sort of ongoing care and attention.
However, if the elderly person has spent a lot of time in the hospital, it is essential to make the transition from the hospital to home as smooth as possible to ensure that the release from the hospital is not traumatic.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about discharging elderly patients from hospital, including how to arrange after hospital care for the elderly.
Before we get in to the details, here is a short video that explains the hospital discharge process.
This relates to Elderly patients being discharged from hospital and is the point when the patient leaves the hospital. As many elderly patients still need care after leaving hospital, special arrangements often need to be made. These may be in the form of live in care at home or admission to a nursing home.
Before discharge takes place, it is important to make sure that the elderly patient has a way of getting home and there is a care plan arranged for them. Elderly patients being discharged from hospital need to understand how to take any medicine they have been prescribed as well as crutches and other items.
You must also notify the patient’s GP about the discharge and seek the assistance of a district nurse of required.
This will largely depend on the health of the elderly patient and their accommodation situation. The GP will conduct a thorough examination of the patient’s condition to make sure that they are ready for discharge. It will also need to be established that there is appropriate care when they are discharged to their home or another place of residence.
Once the doctors have examined the patient, they will be able to determine the date of discharge. The patient as well as their carer and their relatives will usually be notified within 48 hours of admission about the likely discharge date.
Before discharge, the doctor will perform a final examination and conform the date of discharge as well as any follow up appointments that need to be attended.
Discharge planning from hospital to home takes a little finesse and people who have complex needs can seek assistance from a discharge coordinator. This coordinator will help you through all of the steps to help make the transition as smooth as possible.
Of course, they will need to be informed of the date of discharge as well as any independent plans that you make.
It may be the case that when they date of discharge comes around your elderly relative does not feel ready to leave the hospital. Consult the doctor to make sure that they are physically ready to be discharged.
If the patient feels physically or emotionally weak, it is a good idea to consider arranging temporary live in care for them until they feel more stable.
The patient or their carer will usually be responsible for arranging their own transportation on the day of discharge. It is a good idea to arrange the transportation a few days in advance to make sure that the journey goes as smoothly as possible.
Bear in mind that the patient is likely to be feeling nervous on the day of discharge from the hospital, so try to make sure that the transportation arrives on time.
In addition to medical care, there are lots of types of elderly care after hospital discharge that should be considered. Elderly patients who are still feeling rather weak may need help washing, bathing and dressing, while others may need help taking care of their home.
Patients who live alone may need companionship and other types of emotional care to help make the transition easier.
Discharge is the process of leaving the hospital and people who have spent a long period of time in the hospital environment may find the process a little stressful, especially if they are elderly.
Hospital discharge planning can help to make the process easier as it will include a number of details so that they are not overlooked. It is important to note that authorisation for discharging elderly patients from hospital has to come from the patient’s doctor. However,
When discharge planning from hospital to home, you need to arrange the transportation to the patient’s home or care facility. It is important to work out if addition support or care is needed for the patient. You must also consult the doctor about the need for follow-up appointments and tests.
Before completing elderly discharge from hospital, make sure that transportation is arranged and the home is in a suitable condition to receive the patient.
All parties concerned need to be aware of the discharge, including the patient, their GP and a carer if they require one. Make sure that the patient has suitable clothes and shoes as well as the keys and money they need for the journey.
If an elderly relative has spent a long time in the hospital, they may be unwilling to leave and go back to living on their own again. They may also be feeling worried about having to remember when to take their medication or perform certain exercises that have been prescribed.
Arranging a temporary carer may help to make the transition easier, as they will provide your relative with extra care and companionship when they need it most.
There are several different types of home care agencies who are available to provide certain types of help to elderly patients who have been discharged from hospital. It is a good idea to check carefully to find out the kinds of assistance that are available. Of course, you also need to consult the elderly patient to make sure that they are happy to receive this help.
Elderly patients who live alone are likely to find that they need some kind of home care after hospital discharge.
While some people may need occasional care, others are likely to require the services of a live in carer. When determining the level of care that is required, the needs and wishes of the patient should be considered carefully.
If your elderly relative needs constant care and are unwilling to live their home, it is possible to arrange for a live in carer to look after them. This allows patients to retain some of their independence while they are being looked after.
A live in carer will be available around the clock to administer medications, bathe and cook for the patient as required as well as taking care of light housework chores.
Here is a short video that explains how live in care works.
Here is a short video that explains what a live in carer does.
If you decide that home care after hospital discharge is required, it is important to choose the carer carefully.
It is a good idea to introduce the elderly relative to the carer in advance, perhaps while they are still in the hospital if possible. Your elderly relative will be inviting the carer into their home and need to feel comfortable around them.
It is important that the patient and the carer form a bond, as they will be spending a lot of time together and the patient is likely to feel vulnerable when they are ill.
Therefore, it is essential to choose the carer carefully to make sure that they understand the needs of the patient and can work well with them. If you decide that the carer is not suitable, simply contact the agency that assigned the carer and ask for a replacement.
Temporary care is usually suitable for patients who have had an operation or short illness and need a limited amount of care while they recover.
In many cases, temporary care may be free for a period of up to six weeks. However, in more severe cases, patients may require care for much longer than six weeks and the services of an independent carer can be enlisted?
If an elderly friend or family member needs light care after they have been discharged from hospital, there is nothing to stop you from taking on this role. However, it is important to consult the patient’s GP to find out what medication and other types of care they need.
In cases where the patient needs ongoing and specialised care, it may be a good idea to contact a professional carer.
If your elderly relative has health insurance, it may take care of a certain portion of the care expenses.
It is important to keep careful records of the costs of any care and medications that are required. Any insurance policies should be checked carefully so that you can determine exactly how much financial aid your elderly relative is entitled to.
This will depend largely on the living situation of the elderly patient. In many cases, elderly people tend to feel more comfortable in their own home and it may be best to arrange live in care so that they can stay in familiar surroundings.
However, if your elderly relative requires more intensive care and attention, it might be better to arrange for them to move to a nursing home.
This will depend on a lot of factors such as the level of care your elderly relative needs, the ease of getting there to make visits and of course the cost. It is important to choose a nursing home where your elderly relative will be comfortable and if possible let them visit before making the decision.
It is also a good idea to visit several different nursing homes before making the decision so that you can get an idea of what is available.
If the elderly patient has new needs due to their ongoing health issues, you may discover that the staff at their former nursing home is unable to cater to their needs. It is a good idea to seek recommendations for the doctor and nurses at the hospital to see if they can make a recommendation.
When seeking a new nursing home, make sure that the staff are fully aware of the ongoing medical condition and are able to provide full care and assistance.
If you believe that your elderly relative is being discharged from the hospital before they are physically or emotionally stable, it is possible to appeal the decision. First, express your concerns to the discharge planner and doctor and see if they are willing to change the date of discharge.
If this does not work, it is possible to make a formal appeal to the relevant organisation.
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