Transitioning from a care facility to home care is a pivotal period. Seniors are most vulnerable during the move due to high level care needs. During the transition, miscommunication, unmet needs and the incomplete transfer of medical information can lead to adverse health and rehospitalization.
Despite the high risks involved after being discharged from acute level care in a hospital, for instance, remaining in a care facility during this critical time may pose an even greater risk to seniors. Contracting an infectious disease, like Covid-19, is a serious threat in institutional settings.
Seniors are most susceptible to severe health consequences if they contract the coronavirus. In addition to the elderly, those with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, chronic lung disease, severe heart conditions or those who are immunocompromised are high-risk groups. In crowded facilities, like nursing homes or hospitals, safeguarding seniors from SARS-CoV-2 is a major challenge.
Deaths in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes, account for approximately one-third of coronavirus fatalities in the majority of states. Staff members calling in sick, the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and changing government guidelines are further cause of concern.
The huge toll on the lives of older people during the coronavirus pandemic makes it crucial to transition these vulnerable individuals to a safer environment where care may continue. Home care is an option for many seniors. Professional caregivers are able to meet the care needs of elderly care recipients at home.
Families may start the transition from a care facility to home care by planning in advance or using transitional care services. It is important to know all the details surrounding the senior’s medical condition. Know what medications the senior takes to prevent adverse interactions with other drugs, such as herbal remedies or supplements.
A senior discharged from the hospital may now require medical equipment at home. An elderly individual in a wheelchair may need an accessible ramp at home or widened doorways. Prepare the home environment in advance to ensure the senior’s comfort once they reach home.
Simple home modifications also include removing rugs to prevent slipping. Clutter should be cleared out of hallways so that the older person does not trip and fall. Install nightlights in the hallways so that the senior has sufficient lighting to make emergency trips to the bathroom at night.
Families should discuss how the senior will get to follow-up medical appointments from home. Consider hiring a professional caregiver. A routine part of professional caregiving duties is to provide transportation, such as to doctor’s offices, therapy sessions and religious gatherings.
A full recovery after a hospital stay is often expected by both the senior and family members. However, such expectations do not always become a reality. Setbacks to health can occur. Making lifestyle adjustments can help prevent a relapse and pave the way toward improved health.
Preventing a subsequent health event might involve tweaks in nutrition, hydration and exercise habits, plus ensuring proper administration of prescribed medicines. A senior who fails to take prescribed medications properly or consume balanced meals will suffer negative health outcomes. Since adequate hydration, nutrition and vitamins are necessary daily, seniors are advised to eat nutritiously. Studies show that most hospitalizations within 30 days of discharge happen because people fail to take proper medication or go to the follow up visit to the doctor.
Professional caregivers can help seniors both shop for and consume healthy foods. Caregivers provide the transportation to the grocery store or run the errands by themselves. These professionals are also trained to prepare meals in accordance with the senior’s dietary restrictions. Assistance with eating is provided, as needed.
Physical exercise is equally important. Getting adequate exercise may be as simple as regular walks around the block or attending local senior yoga classes. Professional caregivers are instrumental, as they accompany seniors on walks to promote strength, agility, and confidence or provide transport to exercises classes.
Medication mismanagement can lead to dire health outcomes. A senior may erringly miss doses, take incorrect dosages or mix medicines that should never be mixed. Professional caregivers provide medication reminders and ensure that the right medicines are taken in the right doses at the right time. Caregivers also make sure clients go to follow up appointments with the doctor.
Use Virtual Home Care
While caregivers are instrumental to seniors’ well-being at home, sometimes these professionals cannot be in the residence with the senior. In such cases, virtual home care is ideal. Advancements in technology make virtual home care accessible and readily accepted as a means to effective care.
Virtual care technologies help avoid the high costs of hospitalization. A senior who experiences an illness while at home can use wearable technology and remote monitoring to alert caregivers or family members. Elderly individuals with chronic conditions may be monitored 24 hours a day.
Home care might involve virtual technology, such as daily activity monitoring or sleep monitoring, with alerts to caregivers. A senior who wears a smartwatch will be able to track movement and sleep data. Seniors have the option to send collected data to geriatric-trained specialists.
A senior may use a tablet to receive a variety of care services. Seniors have the option to use video chats to communicate face-to-face with relatives and, when needed, medical professionals. Technology that allows real-time communication is reassuring to both seniors and their families.
Transitioning from a care facility to home care right now should be seriously considered. The coronavirus outbreak is likely to continue to cause major upheavals to daily life. Your loved one will benefit from in-home care from a reputable home care agency, like Assisting Hands Home Care.
Our professional caregivers take extra precautions to keep care recipients safe and protected. We communicate with the senior’s family to ensure that the right type of care is provided. Upon an assessment, care recipients receive a customized care plan that meets their individual care needs.
While social distancing measures are mandatory during the coronavirus pandemic, seniors are vulnerable to isolation and loneliness. As part of our care services, our caregivers serve as companions, too. We engage care recipients in pleasant conversations and develop meaningful relationships.
Assisting Hands Home Care services are comprehensive and include support with personal care, meal preparation and transportation. We offer flexible services, from respite care to 24-hour care. Countless families in the communities surrounding Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Boynton Beach, Florida, trust us for our dedicated elder care services.