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Getting the Right Care After a Hospital Discharge

In-Home Care

Most people do not understand the difference between home health and home care workers.

Essentially, home health services are provided by licensed medical professionals who come to the home to do a specific task that has been ordered by a physician and is paid for by Medicare or insurance.

Home care is classified as non-medical support, typically is not paid for by Medicare, and is for the time and duration that you specify. Some rehabilitation services can be carried out in the home through home health agencies. Visiting therapists or health care workers come once or twice a week to monitor health, administer injections, provide wound care, strength training and physical therapy exercises.

Typically, rehabilitation therapy provided by home health can only be offered a few times a week. For some patients to have a successful outcome, seniors must be motivated to exercise when the therapist is not present. In-home therapies also lack the peer support and socialization that can be provided in skilled nursing facilities and assisted living communities. That support and socialization often gives seniors the extra motivation as they recuperate.

Questions to Ask for Your Hospital Discharge Plan
Here are some questions to ask your hospital discharge planner or primary care doctor before your loved one leaves the hospital:
  • What therapies will be required?
  • What services will health insurance or Medicare pay for?
  • Will we need help with dressing or bathing?
  • Will we need help with cooking and housework?
  • Will my loved one be safe at home upon discharge or will someone need to be with them 24 hours a day?
  • What is the average length of recovery time?
  • What problems, symptoms and side effects should we watch for?
  • What should we do about any potential side effects or problems?
  • Who do we call for emergencies and problems?
  • What does each medicine do and why is it needed?
  • What are the medication dosages, conflicts and side effects?
  • Who do we call if we have questions about medical equipment such as oxygen or a walker?
About the Author:

Mitchell, MSW, has experience in hospital social work and geriatric
outpatient care. As an administrator in Assisted Living and Memory Care
with one of the top 20 assisted living companies, she acquired an
awareness and knowledge of the industry that she found valuable in her
role as a Senior Living Advisor at A Place for Mom. Since 2004, Mitchell
has used her education as a social worker and experience in senior
living to help over 14,000 families find the right senior care.

Getting the Right Care After a Hospital Discharge: