hospital discharge

In this article, we discuss what to expect throughout the hospital discharge process and underline the importance of retaining elders’ dignity as a means of truly providing the best long-term results.

The process of getting in and out of the hospital is difficult. If you or a loved one is hospitalized, you can expect to work with a registered nurse (RN), case manager (CM), and social worker (SW) to make plans for discharge. They play a crucial part in the hospital’s clinical team and should be in touch with you regarding your discharge plans from the get-go.

But, you should be aware that this strategy could be changed. What they tell you to expect one day may be very different from what they tell you the next. Discharge plans are subject to frequent modification and evolution due to new information gained by the professional team, altering circumstances, and new tests, leaving family members feeling confused and even quite angry.

While a discharge may appear to be the final step in the process, it is actually the beginning of a long and winding road. This makes discharging patients incredibly difficult to plan for.

And if sending a patient home isn’t feasible, what other options are there? Older people typically prefer going home versus participating in necessary inpatient or acute rehabilitation therapy programs. The loss of independence is a common source of anxiety for the elderly. Elderly people worry that someone will try to limit their independence if they receive acute or professional rehabilitation.

Some senior individuals may argue for a course of action that isn’t in their best interest because they are optimistic about their ability to return to normal functioning after a hospital stay. Most elderly people notice a reduction in their functional abilities after only a few days in the hospital, but they often fail to comprehend that this will hinder them from performing their regular daily duties. Seniors with dementia may overestimate their abilities.

Seniors who have spent more than a day or two in the hospital usually progress to skilled or acute rehabilitation as the next step in their journey. Following the recommendations of their doctors is always essential. Ignoring medical advice is the single most common cause of harm to seniors, and is also the most common cause of a loss of dignity associated with old age.

Nonetheless, being admitted to the hospital is a terrifying ordeal. Panic and dread permeate every inch of it. Studies show that the 30 days following a patient’s discharge pose the greatest risk to both the patient and his or her family.

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