Hospital & Rehab Discharges

Minute Women Home Care - live-in care, senior care, home health care lexington, concord, cambridge, somerville, boston, newton, belmont
Let’s be honest: dealing with a hospital discharge is stressful! 

While it’s a relief that your loved one is going to be coming home after an injury or illness, the reality is that your parent is going to need at the very least some assistance from either you or a private home care agency.

It is important to be prepared and have the right care ready as soon as they come home. Minute Women Home Care can help!

Here are a few things to know about your loved one’s upcoming discharge home:

People come home weaker than when they arrived at the hospital

Many families are unaware that seniors usually come home from a hospital discharge more fragile than when they arrived. The combination of the injury or illness with the lack of sleep from the hospital can prove disastrous. Patients become less mobile, less able to deal with the emotional stress of being ill or injured and what the future holds, and now they are going home to resume life as usual. To be honest, it all takes its toll and can be daunting. 

Having a plan in place to provide extra care and assurance is key to your loved one’s recovery and keeping them from being rehospitalized.

People underestimate the amount of help they need

Many seniors drastically underestimate how much help they need when returning home from rehab. They look at how much progress they have made and all they can do, which’s something to be proud of and give a false sense of security after a hospital discharge.

They often forget that someone has been making, serving, and cleaning up from their meals and snacks throughout the day: want a glass of ginger ale, press the call button. Someone has been cleaning up their room and bathroom, doing the laundry, and washing the dishes. Our caregivers are always there to assist when your parents need them. 

Having supportive care in place for the first couple of weeks enables them to ease back into life at home at a safe pace and works for them. It prevents them from being in the following situation. 

Minute Women Home Care - live-in care, senior care, home health care lexington, concord, cambridge, somerville, boston, newton, belmont

Readmissions to the hospital

Going back to the hospital because of another fall or complication can be detrimental to a senior’s recovery as it starts the whole cycle over again. As people age, they don’t bounce back as quickly or often to the same wellness or functioning level. We’ve all heard about mom’s lifelong friend, Estelle, who has to stay at the skilled nursing facility, so her house is on the market. 

Part of the American Healthcare Act was penalizing hospitals for having 30-day readmissions because they are so costly and were happening far too often. People were either leaving the hospital before they were medically ready or discharged with not enough care in place. The point of bringing this up is that many people claim “that won’t be me”…until it is.

When someone is returning home from it is always our recommendation to schedule more care than less. Three to five days of extra care allow you to know your mom’s new baseline to determine if she can safely resume all that she was doing before being hospitalized. Whether that care is from a family member, private home care, or a combination, we recommend up to a week of care be set-up to ensure readmission does not happen.

You’ll also learn: What can your parent do on their own? Where are they facing the most difficulty?

We can report to you, which will allow you to decide what the best course of action is moving forward. If you don’t need the services we are providing, you can discontinue us, or if you want to pair back, we can do that as well. The goal of starting the first 3-5 days with a lot of care is to prevent your mom from entering the rehospitalization cycle.

Will the agency I am talking with provide immediate services?

The easiest way to find out is to ask the agency themselves. Most will be honest if they are able to accept cases quickly and staff them efficiently.  

One tip to learn if an agency can accept and staff hospital discharges quickly: look at their staff page on their website. If you see that they have an HR Manager or a Recruiter on staff, they likely can provide immediate services in a crisis situation.

The reason is that the primary focus of these roles is to recruit, hire, and onboard caregivers.  The more quality caregivers an agency has, the better equipped they are to accept emergency hospital discharge cases.

It would be the equivalent of a car dealership having limited stock and asking you to wait a few weeks when you are looking to purchase a car today.

Fast turn-around times for hospital discharge cases

We have a saying in the office that “nothing good happens on a Friday after 2 pm!”

This point is when hospitals and rehab units are discharging their patients. These are patients who want to go home before the weekend. Many home care agencies are closed or running with a skeleton crew over the weekends. The home care business is one of helping families in crisis and therefore must have fast-turnaround times. Some agencies do this better than others.

When we receive these calls each week, we know the sense of urgency and are ready to provide you with immediate attention. One such call came from a family the day after mom had a bad fall. She was hospitalized for less than 48 hours away from evaluation and discharge on a Friday afternoon. No one in this family was prepared for this to occur, so they didn’t plan. Frankly, most families don’t. Their mom had previously been very independent, and now she required not only assistance but constant supervision because she was at risk for continued falls; to say they were scrambling and stressed is an understatement. 

As the baby boomer generation ages and becomes the next generation to need senior care services, the challenge is that many of their children live out-of-state. This distance understandably complicates their ability to support their aging parents, if not renders it impossible. The home care company you choose to work with must have fast-turnaround times. When you need services, you need them quickly. You will need them suddenly and unexpectedly.

It would be best if you had an agency that:
  • Will answer the phone during business hours
  • No answering services, voicemails, or automated messages
  • Provide accessible, on-call services for after-hours and weekend
  • Is ready to start services on the weekends or after business hours
When you need help, Minute Women will be there.

Our Hospital Discharge & Rehab Discharge Plan

Minute Women has helped thousands of families in crisis. We have onboarded senior clients on Christmas eve, at 5:00 pm on Fridays, and over the weekends. When a call comes in for a hospital discharge, our goal is to take the time to understand what the goals and objectives of the case are and to then provide quality caregivers within the timeframe needed. 

We are not bound to closing the office at 5 pm. Our goal is to work with you to ensure that we have the services your parent needs. 

When time is a factor, we are honestly more concerned about finding a quality caregiver than matching a caregiver’s personality. Ensuring that a qualified caregiver is there when your parent arrives home and needs us is first and foremost. Usually, the caregiver is also a match personality-wise, but if they are not, we can reassess and find someone who is. With mom being safely cared for at home, we have the gift of time to make changes to her care team. 

The goal with a last-minute discharge or emergency is to find you a caregiver that can provide your mom with quality care and ensure that she is safe. We provide the peace of mind that someone is watching over your mom or dad.

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