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Home Healthcare Supplies for Elderly Patients
In 2015, both of my parents, on separate occasions, were discharged from the hospital to home care. My mom went to her home with 24-hour nursing care and my dad went to an assisted living facility. In both cases, I was totally unprepared and did not have what they needed to be cared for in home setting. I had no idea what Home Healthcare Supplies were necessary. I just assumed that the hospital would send supplies or that the professional caregivers would have them. Or at the very least, that the hospital would give me a list of supplies to purchase when they gave me their discharge instructions. None of that happened.
Thankfully, being without supplies did not result in a life or death situation for either. But it WAS distressing not to have what was needed for them. Especially since both of them were coming out of the hospital facing a major loss of independence and incontinence issues for the first time. At the very least, having the supplies for incontinence like TENA® Overnight Pads on hand would have dialed down the stress level immensely.
Incontinence. Many people are faced with this – not just the elderly. It can be the result of illness or surgery. It can be a temporary or long-term issue. No matter what the circumstances, incontinence is most often met with shame, embarrassment, and fear of leakage and odor by those experiencing it. Those who care for people with incontinence feel their pain and want to be able to assist them discreetly and with dignity.
I was able to purchase TENA® Overnight Pads and the other home healthcare supplies that I needed at my local CVS. They are also available online at the TENA® Brand Shop at CVS.com. And although incontinence continued to be an issue, when my parents wore TENA® products, the worry of leakage and odor was gone and they could feel more confident.
So how do you know what home health care supplies you need to take care of your aging parents or another family member if they leave the hospital and come home or to an assisted living facility? Every situation is different. BUT you can be better prepared if you do the following:
- As soon as discharge starts being discussed, ask the medical personnel what home supplies will be needed at home. Ask that you be given a written list prior to discharge.
- If you aren’t able to get a list from them, look around at what supplies the medical personnel are using to take care of them and make your own list.
- If your parent is being transferred to a nursing home or assisted living, find out IN ADVANCE what supplies and services they provide and get it in writing.
- Make sure that if your parent is being transferred to a nursing home or assisted living facility that the hospital accurately communicates with them the condition and needs of the patient so that THEY are prepared for their care.
- If you will have a home health aid in your home, be sure that the hospital communicates with them what the condition of the patient is and what their needs are. Ask the agency what supplies you need to have on hand.
While all patient needs are individual, here is a list of some basic supplies for a home healthcare supply kit:
Home Healthcare Supply Kit for Elderly Patients
- TENA® products for incontinence including TENA® Overnight Pads.
- Flushable wipes
- Disposable waterproof pads
- Vinyl, waterproof mattress cover
- Box of bandages in various sizes. For thin elder skin, make sure you get the kind that don’t tear the skin when removing them.
- Antibiotic ointment
- Lotion for dry skin
- Hand Sanitizer
- Nail clippers
- Garbage can with a lid
- Cup with lid and a straw
If you have a loved one being discharged from the hospital, don’t be caught off-guard. Have the home healthcare supplies you need on hand and ready for when your loved one arrives home. Being prepared can help ease the stress of a very stressful situation.
Have you cared for a loved one at home? What products would you add to this list?
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