5 Tips for Transition

It can be a very stressful time when your senior loved one is admitted to a hospital or healthcare facility. And most likely, the last thing you’ll be thinking about is what happens when the doctor discharges your loved one. Thinking about and planning the return home care right from the start is one of the best things you can do for your loved one, and your peace of mind. Planning ahead and preparing for a safe return home can mean the difference between readmission and a full recovery. There are many issues that factor into why older adults are vulnerable to problems at home after they have been in a medical or rehabilitation setting. Caring Companions can provide much needed care serving Memphis for 20 years. Whether it’s elder care, dementia care or hospice care, our highly trained staff can make the transition home much safer and provide you respite care.

Along with the personal care, there are many duties a professional in home caregiver can perform such as meal prep, medicine reminders, household chores and decluttering living area for safety. Here are 5 tips that can assist in making the move back home run smoother and less stressful. Changes are inevitable but careful planning can assure a smooth transition.

1. Expect things to be different.

Unrealistic expectations about being able to return to life as normal can lead to disappointment and frustration. Returning home will present new challenges to perform activities of daily living. Recovery can take a while, and in some cases such as a stroke, you may need to make modifications around the house or get extra assistance from caregivers. Recognizing that these adjustments will ultimately result in a safer and more comfortable living environment may relieve some of the stress associated with the transition.

2. Start planning early.

If you think you'll need to make modifications around the house, or have extra assistance, don't wait until you're home to start planning. Work with the rehab staff and request a home visit from the physical or occupational therapist so that they can assess the living environment and make recommendations. Make home modifications that the therapists suggest and plan for them to be completed before going home. Make a list of potentially difficult situations and discuss possible solutions with your therapists. Additionally, take a day to visit home prior to discharge so that you can troubleshoot issues before moving back.

3. Stay focused on goals.

Recovery should continue when you go home. Discuss a daily routine with the physical, occupational and speech therapists, and work with home care professionals to set short and long-term goals while at home. Staying focused on goals will motivate you to get stronger, and you'll minimize the risk of returning back to a hospital or rehab facility.

4. Take advantage of resources.

There are a lot of things to think about when transitioning back home, but your rehab facility will guide you as you make crucial decisions regarding home health services, medical equipment, or adaptive equipment that may be needed. They can also put you in touch with resources available within your community. Local communities have a wealth of services such as delivering meals, light housekeeping, transportation and counseling, all of which will provide a helping hand while still enabling independence.

5. Recognize that it's ok to have help.

Some people are embarrassed about needing assistance after transitioning home, and some family caregivers think they can take care of their loved ones all on their own. It's important to be realistic about the level of care that will be required, and it's ok to have extra help. Getting help isn't a sign of weakness, but one of strength and care. The earlier you start planning, the healthier and happier you'll be.

If you or someone you love has had to stay at a rehabilitation facility after a stroke, surgery or an injury, you know that recovery can be a long and difficult process filled with uncertainty about what to expect when transitioning back home. The transition from rehab to home is complex and requires careful planning and coordination to insure a safe recovery. Caring for a chronically ill or disabled person at home is a complex task. Many of the daily tasks that were previously performed by health care professionals in the rehab unit will now become the family caregiver’s responsibility. A professional caregiver can give family members much needed relief when they are unable to be with their loved ones due to personal demands.

Professional caregivers can assist with performing such tasks as ambulating, bathing, dressing at home and assure a safer and smoother transition. For questions regarding the assistance Caring Companions can providem, contact us at (901) 259-5030.