Caregiver tips, tip #2

Caregiver tip #2, The transition home from the hospital or rehab.

Hi my name is Dr. Marie Fitzgibbon I am the Nurse Practitioner here at Pleasant Trees Personal Care Home.  Coming home from hospital or rehabilitation can be a tricky time for seniors especially when there are several health issues and multiple medications that must be managed. As a visiting or home care Registered Nurse I have performed countless medication reconciliations in patients’ homes and rarely have the discharge medications match what the patient was taking at home before the hospitalization.

A medication reconcillation is making sure a patient in the hospital is sent home with the correct prescriptions and instructions for taking medications at home. Missing or incorrect medications may result in re-hospitalization.

Typically when admitted to the hospital, medications are stopped or changed so it is important when returning home to check your loved one’s new medication regimen with their old one. It is recommended that you follow up with your primary care doctor within one week of a hospitalization or discharge from rehab. However, for many reasons, this does not always occur. So your loved one may be taking medications they no longer need or may not be taking medications they do need.

Medication reconciliations should be done before discharge from hospital and rehab. Just incase you should ask for a copy of the medication list that your loved one will be sent home with and ask for an explanation of any changes. The medications should match pretty closely to what they were taking before the hospital and any differences should have a reason. If you have any doubts or questions contact your primary care doctor as soon as possible.

thanks for reading,

Marie Fitzgibbon, DNP, CRNP, ANP-BC

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