Some Americans are going through chronic medical conditions or have just come back home from the hospital, and they may need post-discharge care or after surgery care. This may include disability assistance if it is relevant, and post-discharge care may also involve dementia care or companion care for a patient in need. An elderly citizen suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, for example, may choose to continue living in their residence but they will need some help with that. Similarly, someone who just got out of the hospital from major surgery or recovering from a serious illness may need some post-discharge care, and post-discharge care can be provided by medical experts and friend and family alike. What is there to know about advanced medical needs among American patients today?
Rates of Dementia and Illness Among Americans
Many American adults, in particular the elderly, have frequent need for assistance in their everyday life. In fact, it has been found that close to 80% of all seniors suffer from one chronic disease, and as many as 68% have two or more at the same time. By the year 2030, six out of 10 Baby Boomers (those born 1945-1962) will be managing at least one chronic condition, and nearly 70% of Americans turning 65 will need some long-term care at some point or other. Chronic conditions vary, such as osteoporosis (especially common among women), heart issues, back pan or spinal deformation, and mental disorders such as dementia. Alzheimer’s, in particular, is a common affliction that many elderly Americans contend with. Today, nearly 5.7 million Americans have this degenerative disease, and estimates say that that figure could rise to 14 million by the year 2050. Most patients of Alzheimer’s are over the age of 65, and two out of thee of them are women. In rare cases, though, a person may suffer from early-onset Alzheimer’s, and they too will need care. What does this entail?
Post Discharge Care
Speaking generally, a patient’s home should e prepared for them ahead of time by the time they have been discharged from the hospital. The exact measures taken will vary based on what the patient is currently experiencing or what sort of surgery they had, if any. All post-discharge care is based, though, on making the patient’s life easy, safe, and convenient at their residence. This may include preparing a number of meals and putting them in the fridge or freezer, in case the patient does not have the manual dexterity, strength, or focus to cook for themselves. Someone who had surgery on their hands, for example, may not be advised to handle knives or near open flames on a stove. In other cases, the patient just recovered from a disease or illness and won’t have the strength to cook anyway.
More extreme cases of post-discharge care may be if the patient has extensive needs. A patient who is partially paralyzed, for example, may be unable to use their legs or even their arms. This can hamper their daily life to quite an extent, and many chores or self-care may be difficult or impossible for them. In this case, 24-hour post-discharge care will be required, such as for a patient who is paralyzed from the neck down. If a patient cannot easily walk, such as due to paralysis or osteoporosis, all of their items and furniture upstairs may be moved downstairs. This includes setting up a ground-floor bedroom for them, so they never have occasion to go up stairs at all.
Dementia such as Alzheimer’s impacts both the patient’s memory and their physical capabilities; namely, they will be clumsy. A dementia patient may get home care when tripping hazards like rugs and electric cords are cleared away, and sharp or flame-producing items may be locked away. An Alzheimer’s patient may also have their home arranged in a logical and convenient manner, and everything can be kept in place to reduce the impact of memory loss. What is more, mental stimulation has proven effective at slowing Alzheimer’s progress. Nothing cures or prevents this condition, but mental exercises and activity such as jigsaw puzzles, a strong social life, and more can slow down the degenerative mental effects. This can also keep the patient happy and occupied during home care.