Senior Caregiver Checklist After Hospital Stays & Doctor Visits

Patients of even the most meticulous at-home senior caregivers encounter hospital visits due to an unexpected fall or change in health conditions. A trip to the hospital or simply an appointment with a new doctor can be stressful for seniors, who often return home without a grasp of appropriate follow-up steps for senior care based on the new conditions.

 

This National Alliance for Caregiving checklist, which includes follow up questions for physicians and other professionals involved with senior care, is designed for patients and caregivers to help ensure a smooth transition from the hospital to at-home care. Both parties stand to benefit from a clear understanding of the senior’s condition and recovery plan.

 

1.      Do you understand your health conditions? Ask what is likely to happen with your health.                                                                         

Senior ___  Caregiver ___

 

2.      Do you know what problems to watch for and how to handle them? Ask what to do and who to call if you have problems.                      

 Senior ___  Caregiver ___

 

3.      Do you know what each of your prescriptions drugs does? Do you know how to take them, and what side effects to watch for? Ask who you should call if you have questions.

 

Senior ___  Caregiver ___    

                                       

4.      Do you understand how much of your prescription drugs, equipment and services will be covered by your insurance and what you will have to pay? Ask to speak to a social worker about possible resources to help with insurance payment.

 

 Senior ___  Caregiver ___

 

5.      Do you have written discharge instructions that you understand, your list of drugs, and a summary of your current health status? Bring this to your next appointment.

 

Senior ___  Caregiver ___

 

6.      Do you know what appointments and tests you’ll need during the next couple of weeks?                                                                   

Senior ___  Caregiver ___

 

7.      Do you have a doctor or healthcare provider to call if you have questions or problems? Write down the names and contact information.

 

Senior ___  Caregiver ___

 

8.      Are you worried about how you or your family is coping with your illness? Ask to speak to a therapist or find out about support groups, if needed. 

 

Senior ___  Caregiver ___

 

9.       Do you know what medical equipment you will need? Ask who to call if you have questions about equipment.

 

Senior ___  Caregiver ___

 

10.  Do you know which of the items below you will need help with and for how long? Bathing, dressing, grooming, using the bathroom; Shopping for food, making meals, doing housework, paying bills; Getting to doctors appointments, picking up prescription drugs. 

Senior ___  Caregiver ___

 

Seniors often require full-time care in the weeks following a hospital visit. Caregiverlist offers free resources such as a Medication Reminder Schedule and Simple Senior Care Plan to assist caregivers in providing quality care to senior clients. These tools are especially helpful for caregivers who start seeing a new patient, or have an existing patient whose care requirements change.

 

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