Does My Senior Parent Need Post-Hospital Care?

Category: Frequently Asked Questions | Skilled Nursing

As our parents grow older, recovering from an illness or surgery can become more difficult. Whatever the reason a senior parent may end up in the hospital, we all want them to return home to loved ones as quickly as possible. However, they may not be able to go home on their own without some support and assistance to rebuild their health.

In these cases, unless you or a family member has the proper training or experience, it may not be possible to handle your parent’s care on your own. Post-hospital care through a specialized skilled nursing facility may be the best option to ensure a full recovery and safe return home.

Registered Nurse helping elder woman in bed from their wheelchair

The Importance of Post-Hospital Care

Depending on if a senior has experienced a medical event, major illness or surgery, they have different recovery needs. Unfortunately, the senior population has an increased risk of complications after they have spent time in the hospital. That’s why it’s so important they are provided with the opportunity to regain their strength and relearn skills for daily activity before returning home.

Without the right support, some seniors who have recently been released from the hospital may find themselves readmitted in a short amount of time. Post-hospital care includes services to promote strength, mobility, confidence and independence to avoid readmission, such as:

Avoiding Complications

There are a number of complications that can occur after your loved one leaves the hospital. They may be very weak, which can lead to an increased risk of falls. Your parent may also be at risk of catching another illness that would put them back in the hospital. It’s better to have them in a safe environment where they can be monitored and kept safe while getting back on their feet.

Post-hospital care considers these complications and creates an ideal environment for healing and relaxation. Your parent will be monitored by professionals and given the proper guidance and support to recover quickly before transitioning home.

Support From a Professional Caregiver

While it’s understood that you love and care about your senior parent, there may be situations that prevent you from being able to care for your loved one yourself. You may have other family obligations, work or other responsibilities. A professional caregiver can help your parent recover quickly and safely. These services can include things such as:

  • Scheduling follow up appointments
  • Scheduling therapy sessions
  • Updating family members on the recovery process
  • Providing respite care

You can find a professional caregiver prior to your parent being released from the hospital. It’s always a good idea to be ready for discharge rather than waiting until the recovery process is underway. Ask your doctor for recommendations for the best post-acute care and skilled nursing facilities that can help your senior parent after a hospital stay.

CNA (certified nursing assistant) helping an elderly patient walk with her walker

What You Should Do Before Your Parent’s Discharge

You likely feel stressed after your senior parent has been admitted to the hospital. As soon as you can, meet with the discharge planner at the facility where your parent is staying. This appointment will help ease some of your anxiety as you figure out how to best help your parent recover.

You’ll want to find out exactly what kind of assistance and services will be needed after discharge has taken place. Get an estimate of recovery time, so you know what to plan for and whether an in-home caregiver or skilled nursing facility is best. Here are some things to consider before your parent can return home:

1. Get Information About Your Options for Post-Hospital Care

Your parent’s discharge planner can provide you with information regarding different facilities that are highly regarded in the area. Then, determine if your parent’s insurance coverage will allow for them to go there. If space is available, you can contact the facility to set up a tour and see if it may be an option for your parent. When you’re dealing with the best facilities, they will ensure that the process is as smooth as it can be for you and your family.

2. Help Your Parent Understand the Options

While finding the proper care for your parent can be an overwhelming process, make sure you’re sharing the information that you learn with your loved ones. Senior parents should know where they may be going and what to expect after leaving the hospital. Especially if your parent tends to get confused or shaken up by a change in routine, preparation can help make this transition that much easier.

3. Learn About Your Parent’s Post-Hospital Care Needs

Prior to your senior parent being discharged from the hospital, the doctor will provide you with details regarding follow-up care. You should also be given information about the facilities that are nearby which can assist you. Learn what you can about your parent’s needs, so you know what to look for and what questions to ask when choosing a suitable post-hospital care facility.

nurse reading a book to an senior patient

Safely Transitioning Home

To help your senior parent reach a successful recovery and a healthy return home, post-hospital care may be the best decision for your family. Choosing the right facility will ensure that your loved one gets the attention and support they need in a safe environment with caring professionals.

If you’re seeking care for your parent who is currently in the hospital, Haven Health is here to help you navigate this challenging time. Contact us to learn more about our post-hospital services and how we can work with your family to support your parent’s recovery.