Research indicates that people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia have twice as many hospital stays per year as other older people, requiring family caregivers to be able to effectively communicate with the healthcare team while their loved one is in the hospital, and understanding how to provide follow up care once the elder is transitioned to the home. More often than not, the patient with dementia is unable to effectively communicate their needs and wishes to hospital staff. The family caregiver becomes stressed trying to keep track of everything they need to tell the hospital staff to ensure their loved one is properly cared for.
To help open the lines of communication between family caregivers and hospital staff, and to help ensure the best possible transitions from hospital to home, grant funding has enabled Senior Concerns to develop the “From Hospital to Home: A companion notebook for caregivers of people with dementia”.
The Hospital to Home notebook provides a form called “All About Me” for the caregiver to fill out including information about the patient, how they best communicate, what can help when providing care. The caregiver can post this next to the bed to alert any person who enters the room about how to approach the patient.
The notebook not only provides practical information and resources for the caregiver including a medication log, home safety information, common challenges for people with dementia and a resource list, but it also teaches the caregiver how to be a patient advocate. The most important resource for any person with dementia is their caregiver. This notebook hopes to empower the caregiver to ask questions, to advocate for care and to create the best situation and experience for their loved one with dementia.