Transitional Care Vs. Respite Care After A Hospital Discharge

Posted by Ginny Dutile on Jul 23, 2015 8:38:00 AM

transitional-vs-respite-careAfter your aging loved one has gone through surgery or returns from a hospital stay due to illness, they may require more care and attention than you are used to providing. However, a long-term care plan may not be necessary if their condition is expected to improve soon.

Comparing Transitional Care And Respite Care

Transitional care options are ideal when your loved one is recovering from an acute or chronic health condition or medical procedure that requires a therapy regimen. The right care plan details important processes that help your loved one as they work towards the goal of recovery.

Due to many seniors’ desire to return home to an independent lifestyle after a hospital discharge, choosing quality transitional care may be the best option to avoid breakdowns in the levels of care needed and re-hospitalizations. Transitional care is provided across healthcare settings and healthcare providers, based on the medical condition of the patient. Transitional care can be provided in a medical facility, assisted living or at home. An example of transitional care is if your loved one has a hip replacement due to an accident such as a fall. Your loved one may benefit from transitioning to a skilled nursing facility from the acute hospital to receive rehabilitation, prior to transitioning home.

As opposed to transitional care, respite care provides short-term and time-limited breaks for family caregivers. Respite care may be an accommodation within a facility outside of the home or in the home by hiring in-home caregivers. This option offers temporary relief to those who are caring for your loved one. Family members often choose respite care instead of placing their senior in a permanent facility outside of the home.

If your family is going on vacation or needs rest from caring for your senior, respite care provides you a break. Usually, aging adults in respite care facilities are already in stable condition and simply need someone to look after them for a short period of time.

Transitional care and respite care are often confused despite the significant differences between them. If your loved one is still in the process of recovering from an illness or injury, respite care is not a viable option.

Consult A Geriatric Care Manager

In order to optimize the benefits of your senior’s healthcare plan, you should consult a Geriatric Care Manager (GCM) with questions about how to prepare for your loved one’s hospital discharge, return home and transitional care.

It may be safer for your loved one to go to a skilled nursing facility for rehab before returning home, depending on their condition. This option is often paid for by Medicare and most healthcare insurance policies. In a situation where your loved one returns home from a skilled nursing facility rather than directly from the hospital, they may be operating at a higher functioning level and require less assistance from advanced home care providers.

For example, your senior may be able to drive to medical appointments on their own or prepare their own meals. Consequently, you and your loved one have the choice to decrease the amount of caregiver time spent at home, which results in greater overall cost savings.

If you have researched care options for your senior and are in need of guidance regarding certain problems, don’t hesitate to speak with a GCM. Geriatric Care Managers are knowledgeable and experienced in helping aging adults find the best option for both at-home care and other senior care services.

Ready to learn more about developing a care plan for your loved one? Discover expert advice on preparing for advanced home care and other elderly care options.


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