Hospitalizations, morbidities, and rehospitalizations are many times unavoidable. They take a toll on the aged’s life, people, and families helping them including healthcare professionals. Sometimes or many times, they are life-altering situations. What are the things to consider? Previously we shared from a clinician’s point of view, now we are from an aged’s point of view.
What can we do? What things can we consider when bringing an aged home from the hospital?
Here are ten things to consider in random order.:
- Are they ambulatory? Do they need a cane, walker, or wheelchair? Are they at risk for falls? How far can they walk? Do they need the support of humans? Do they have any injuries or weakness in the limbs?
- Are they non-ambulatory? What is their ability? How are they bedbound? When did they become this way? Is this acute or will be a chronic issue?
- Does the medical equipment or hospital bed fit inside the room? Do they need a special mattress to sleep on? How sturdy is the equipment? What kinds do they need? to eat? To shower? To talk with others?
- What about access to diapers, restrooms, and toilets?
- What is their cognitive status? Any delirium?
- How is their communication? Are any speech and hearing aids needed? Swallowing issues? Need to be fed vs can feed by themselves? Can they tell if they are cold, hot, hungry or thirsty, or in any pain?
- Are there any dressings? Any wounds? Skin sores? Ulcers? Fractures? Casts? How heavy are they? Are they causing any distress? When was the last time it was changed?
- What are their sensations of touch, pressure, heat, and cold? Can they feel? Are they numb? Can they hold it with their hands?
- What is their energy level? Are they sleeping a lot or unable to? How long have they been like this? Are any improvements seen in the recent past?
- How are they coping? What burdens do they have or might have? Any distractions? Any change in behavior?
Though this list is not comprehensive, it is a beginning, as we explore more in the coming blogs. Things can change without a reason or warning. Being vigilant, asking questions, and being proactive is the only best way to understand the elderly’s needs completely and thoroughly.
We would love to hear as always from you all, please feel free to post any comments, ideas, etc.