In many cases, when someone leaves the hospital, they aren't fully recovered. According to Caring.com, about 20 percent of Medicare patients were hospitalized again within 30 days, though in many cases readmission is preventable.
To ensure a loved one won't need to return to the hospital, caregivers should be present during the discharge planning process to understand what needs to be done at home to keep them safe as they recover.
The website suggests that a caregiver understands exactly what their loved one was in the hospital for, and should also plan for extra help from other relatives or friends during recovery.
Before leaving the hospital, make sure to get instructions for helping a senior take any medicine, as well as understand certain signs that could mean something is going wrong – for example, running a fever or swelling.
Once a senior gets home, make sure to move any obstacles like furniture out of the way to the kitchen or bathroom, so they won't need to maneuver around more things than necessary.
After a loved one is settled and healed, caregivers may want to install a medical alert system that will signal emergency workers should something happen when they're not around.