This short article is about “post-hospital syndrome,” or the “wide range of adverse health events and complications” that result from the physical and emotional stress of being in the hospital. Nearly one-fifth of Medicare patients end up being re-admitted to the hospital within 30 days. Those who have been in the hospital need a long time to recover from the experience.
Part of the reason I’m sending out this article is to share the recent story of a local support group member who is the caregiver to her husband with Lewy Body Dementia. The woman was experiencing bowel pain, and saw her doctor. He ordered immediate surgery. She was supposed to be in the hospital for 10 days but is still there 30 days later. When she is finally discharged from the hospital, she will have to go to a skilled nursing facility. Their son has had to step in to take care of both parents, neither of whom can really help now with decisions or planning. The woman did not have a medical power-of-attorney that included her son; it had only included her husband. And the woman had never thought about what might happen if she were in crisis.
It’s really important for caregivers to plan for the scenario of their ending up in the hospital on an emergency basis! At least think about this. Include your adult children or close friends in your thoughts. Whose in charge? Will this person have access to money? Will this person know about your medical insurance? What agency should be hired to care for the person with a neurological condition? What care facility should the person with a neurological condition be moved to?
Here’s a link to the article on post-hospital syndrome:
The Hazards of Leaving the Hospital
The days and weeks after patients are sent home can be dangerous. Here’s how to avoid being readmitted.
Wall Street Journal
By Laura Landro
Updated March 15, 2013, 4:14 p.m. ET