The most dangerous time in medical care is when a patient moves from one care system to another. For example, moving from the hospital to a rehabilitation facility and then from a rehabilitation facility to home or back to the emergency room. All sorts of bad things can happen during these transitions. Critical information is lost or distorted. It’s a time for hyperviligance.
An AARP study found that older people with chronic conditions and their caregivers expressed many concerns about transitions from hospitals and other health care facilities. Overall, transitions were stressful and created many complicated.
The most frequently mentioned issues were:
- Loss of mobility and independence
- Uncertain expectations for recovery and/or prognosis
- Not remembering their doctor’s instructions
- Feeling abandoned
The most frequently mentioned issues for caregivers were:
- Finding resources, such as medical equipment and services
- Arranging for assistance in and around the home, both paid and unpaid
- Communicating with doctors and other health professionals
- Uncertain expectation for their relative’s or a friend’s recovery and/or prognosis
- Managing their relative’s or friend’s expectations
- Not enough time for competing demands (e.g., care coordination, job, children, self)
- Stress/emotional strain/guilt
More and more families are turning to geriatric care managers to help them manage these types of transitions. Rather than trying to manage alone, the geriatric care manager can advocate for the patient and help the caregiver navigate through an often complicated system. This helps the caregiver by not only reducing stress but by helping to preserve the emotional stamina that caregivers need.
To learn more about the geriatric care management services offered through the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center and how we can help you navigate your loved ones transition from hospital or rehabilitation center to home, please call us at 561-588-4545