It can be a stressful time for everyone involved when a loved one is getting ready to be discharged from the hospital. What those involved tend to forget, however, is that it is especially hard on the person that's going through the transition. If your loved one is getting released from a hospital facility and will be receiving assisted living services at home, here are three things you will need to remember.
Don't Allow a Premature Discharge
Most folks don't enjoy staying in the hospital and are usually eager to get discharged, but it's important this doesn't happen too soon. Sometimes your loved one's discharge date may be just around the corner, but you don't feel they are strong enough or well enough to make the transition. If your loved one's doctors still want to go ahead with the discharge, but you don't feel they are ready, you can make an appeal. If the doctor still wants to proceed, you'll need to consult with Medicare, or your loved one's insurance carrier, so that you can make a formal appeal with Quality Improvement Organizations.
Review All Medications
If your loved one has been prescribed certain medications during their hospital stay and needs to continue taking some of them, you'll want to ensure their doctor updates all of their prescriptions. Then, once your loved one is discharged, you'll be able to get all of their medications so they will have them when they get back home. Some seniors are on many different prescriptions, so it will be good to review all of their medications with a nurse or their doctor prior to discharge. This will help you to know what they are taking and when they need to take it.
Some questions you may want to ask about their medications include:
- What is each medicine for?
- Will the medicine react with other medications?
- Should this medication be taken with food?
- How is this medicine covered?
If the doctor or nurse cannot answer these questions, you'll need to talk to a pharmacist. It will be also good to know what services the pharmacy provides, such as home delivery and online refills.
Getting Transition Services Covered
You'll want to ensure that any transition services your loved one needs while getting settled in their home are covered. If your loved one is on Medicare, transitional care management services will get covered by Medicare Part B. Under these services, a health care provider will help manage your loved one's care for the first 30 days after returning home.