As you age, you may suddenly find yourself in the hospital after a fall, stroke, or heart attack. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your hospitalization, one thing is certain: you’ll want to go home as soon as possible. And having a plan in place to ensure your safety and well-being will be a critical step to help make this happen.
Hospital discharge planning
A social worker can help you plan for transitioning back to home following your hospital stay. When planning to be released from the hospital, a team will go over proper medication administration and will determine if medical equipment – such as a wheelchair or walker – is necessary. They will also determine if you need training in wound care.
“A discharge plan is designed to ensure that when a patient leaves the hospital, he or she is transported to a safe environment both medically and cognitively,” said Tara Pearse, director of social work at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York.
Before leaving the hospital, you can schedule follow-up appointments and make a list of important phone numbers for any questions about your short-term care that may arise. Most importantly, the team will discuss options for the level of recovery care you’ll need and your options for where you should receive care.
Short-term care for a home discharge
After you’re discharged to your home, an interdisciplinary team will assess whether you will need home services for short-term care, such as a home health aide or home healthcare provider, Pearse says.
A home health aide helps with personal care, such as bathing, dressing, going to the bathroom, and exercising. He or she can also help with meal preparation and laundry. Since these are non-medical needs, a home health aide doesn’t need to be licensed, although you may want to hire someone who is certified.
In contrast, a home healthcare provider is a licensed medical professional. He or she will administer any intravenous or injections needed and monitor serious illness. Ultimately, the goal of a home healthcare provider is to educate you, so you can become independent and take care of yourself.
Two types of adult daycare are also available for care options following a hospital stay. Adult social daycare provides seniors with a chance to interact; enjoy social activities, such as games and sing-a-longs; and eat nutritious meals. Adult day healthcare facilities provide social activities along with medical services. In this setting you can receive physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and medicine administration.
Short-term care for discharge to a rehabilitation facility or nursing home
If you’re discharged to a rehab facility or nursing home for short-term care, you will likely be given a list of the locations in your area that are covered by your insurance. Many people pick a short-term care facility based on location, but the quality of healthcare should also be considered a priority.
How to pay for short-term care
When you need to stay in a nursing home, assisted living facility, adult daycare center, or hospice, the bills can add up quickly. Medicare may not cover all short-term care needs, but with proper care planning, you can fill the gap in coverage with additional insurance policies.
Short-Term Care insurance is designed specifically to cover care needed for less than one year in a variety of different care setting options. This type of insurance can help cover the out-of-pocket costs associated with care received at home or in a facility, helping to protect your savings from unexpected expenses.
If you’d like to learn more about AARP® Short-Term Care Insurance from Medico®, click here to get a quote or receive additional information.
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