Navigating the hospital discharge process can be challenging, but it’s crucial to prioritize the dignity of older adults for optimal long-term outcomes. When you or a loved one are in the hospital, you can expect to work closely with a registered nurse (RN), case manager (CM), and social worker (SW) to develop a comprehensive discharge plan. As essential members of the clinical team, they will communicate with you from the beginning to discuss your discharge arrangements.
It is crucial to recognize that this strategy is subject to change. The information you receive about what to expect can vary from one day to the next. Discharge plans often require adjustments and updates due to new information from the medical team, changing circumstances, and additional tests. Consequently, family members may feel confused or frustrated by these changes.
Despite discharge being seen as the final stage of the journey, it actually signifies the beginning of a complex and intricate path. This complexity often presents significant challenges when planning patient discharges.
When it comes to deciding what to do with a patient who can’t go home, what other options are available? In general, elderly individuals tend to prefer going back home rather than participating in necessary inpatient or acute rehabilitation programs. The fear of losing independence is a common concern among older adults. There’s often a worry that undergoing professional rehabilitation might restrict their independence.
Some older individuals may support a decision that doesn’t align with their best interests because they are hopeful about regaining their normal functionality after being in the hospital. Unfortunately, even after just a few days in the hospital, many elderly individuals experience a decline in their ability to function. However, they often fail to consider that this decline could hinder their ability to perform everyday activities. This tendency to overestimate their abilities is particularly noticeable among seniors with dementia.
As seniors continue their recovery journey after their stay in the hospital, the next important step is to transition to skilled or acute rehabilitation. Following the guidance of doctors is absolutely essential to ensure their well-being. Neglecting medical advice can lead to harm and a loss of dignity associated with aging, which is why it should never be ignored.
Unfortunately, being admitted to the hospital can be a highly distressing experience for seniors. Anxiety and apprehension become pervasive during this time. Research has shown that the 30 days following a patient’s discharge from the hospital are particularly crucial, as they pose significant risks to both the patient and their family.
We have a free download of the six essential steps to managing hospitalization. If you need more assistance than is offered in this article, you can contact us toll free at 855-456-7972 or visit our website at www.ikorofwpa.com