Hospital Discharge Planning Article
“I’ve Been Discharged Home… Now What?”
You are being discharged home! Great news, but you may be asking yourself, “How am I going to take care of myself once I get home?” Discharge planning from hospital to home is important.
Many individuals who are released back home after being hospitalized may feel anxious and ill-equipped to return home. In addition, many individuals who do not receive the appropriate care and supervision after returning home can often find themselves re-hospitalized due to a fall, over-exertion, or from not taking medications properly. Another cause of re-hospitalization can also be a lack of continuing their rehabilitation exercises once they have returned home.
It is always a good practice to have a clear and comprehensive discharge plan before you leave the hospital to ensure a quality recovery. Your local hospitals and nursing homes have teams of case managers and social workers that will work with you to create a hospital discharge plan for your return home. Explain to the discharge planner what the environment will be like when you return home. Will you have family members to help you settle in? Will you need supervision to ensure you are not left alone should you fall? These questions and many others will be discussed between you and your discharge planner.
In many cases, individuals who are returning home may need continued rehabilitation therapies, medical supervision, or even help with activities of daily living such as: dressing, bathing, eating, using the toilet, transferring or walking.
Having a family-member to serve as a caregiver is always a blessing, but in some cases a family-member may not be able to devote enough time or may be ill-equipped to provide care in every situation. Home healthcare is an excellent choice for many individuals and families who may need some extra help at home in order to avoid re-hospitalization and to ensure a quality recovery without exhausting the patient or family members.
Home health is a booming industry with many facets. You may be asking yourself, “How do I get home healthcare for myself or a loved one?” and “How does home companion care work?”
For those who may be ill for an extended period of time, home health is a comforting, realistic and safe alternative to day-care, assisted living, or admission to a nursing home. This is because home companion care can be individualized to meet the most demanding of needs and the main goal is to make it possible for individuals to remain in the comfort of their home for as long as they desire. Home health is becoming increasingly more popular due to the fact that individuals prefer to recover in the familiar surrounding of their home with their family and friends nearby.
What is home health?
Home healthcare encompasses a wide range of medical and non-medical services offered to patients in their own home. There are a variety of services offered such as: assistance with activities of daily living to highly skilled IV infusion therapy.
If the patient is in need of a skilled nurse or therapist, the patient will be referred to a Medicare certified home health agency. Many of these agencies also accept commercial and private insurances as well. Each patient is then assigned to a team of nurses, therapists and social workers. This team designs a plan of care for the patient and oversees their care. Medicare or the patient’s secondary insurance company will provide funds for a period of time based on the patient’s diagnosis. A nurse or therapist will visit the patient’s home anywhere from a few times a day to once per week, depending on the diagnosis.
Medicare certified home health agencies, are there to provide skilled care. They do not provide ongoing assistance with activities of daily living. A private- duty home health agency may be needed if a patient is in need of daily or weekly help with hygiene, personal care or even assistance keeping up the home.
How do I get home healthcare?
As mentioned above, your local hospitals and nursing homes have a team of case managers and social workers that will work with you to create a hospital discharge plan for your return home. Once you have explained your needs and concerns to the hospital discharge planner you may ask them if they think home healthcare would be a good option for you. You may also want to ask your doctor.
If the case manager feels you are need of skilled nursing care or continued therapy she will consult with your doctor and you will be referred to a home health agency that is certified to provide skilled care. If you are not in need of skilled home healthcare, but you are also not able to care for yourself and carry out all your activities of daily living, you may request Private-Duty home care. Your case manager can provide you with a list of companies that offer these services. Or you may do your own research on the internet or in the phone book. You are not required to have a doctor sign off for Private-Duty home care.
Bayshore Home Care is one such company that provides services to help you in your home. They have been providing Private-Duty home care locally throughout Largo and the surrounding area for over 23 years. Bayshore Home Care is a fully licensed home healthcare agency.
Who pays for home healthcare?
Home healthcare services can be paid in one of three ways, depending on the care required, type of insurance the patient has, and the patient’s financial circumstances.
Some funding is available through public third- party payers such as: Medicaid, Medicare, Veterans Administration, and Social Services grant programs. And some local community organizations also provide funding to help pay for home healthcare services.
Assistance is also available through private third-party payers which include: health insurance companies, long-term care insurance, managed care organizations, and workers’ compensation.
Home companion care services that do not meet the criteria of third-party payers must be paid for “out of pocket” by the patient. Services such as custodial care, companionship and help with activities of daily living are, in most cases, not covered by third-party payers. The patient must self pay for these services.
If you are located in the Tampa Bay area, you can learn more about private-duty home care by contacting Bayshore Home Care. Each of their caregivers is educated, qualified, screened and insured so that they are able to offer their clients the highest level of care and peace of mind.
A registered nurse provides an in-home assessment, at no charge, in order to determine the individual’s specific needs and the level of care required. Bayshore Home Care can help with everything from companionship and light housekeeping to personal care and medication management. Bayshore Home Care can also assist in giving your current caregiver/family member a break. Services are available from 1 to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and there is always a nurse on call.
Bayshore Home Care is able to customize a plan of care for each client that they serve. Services can always be adjusted as needs change. Hospital discharge planning can seem daunting. Let us help. Call today to schedule a free assessment!