How to ensure continuity of care at home

Written by Ranger Home Care
15 March 2024

Continuity of care refers to making sure healthcare services are consistent and connected when a person moves from one healthcare setting to another. For example, if an individual is going home from a hospital stay, recovering from surgery or beginning to manage a long-term illness.

This type of consistent care is vitally important as it helps avoid setbacks, controls symptoms and leads to better health results.

Read on for eight ways to maintain continuity of care for those needing healthcare help at home.

8 ways to ensure consistent care

To ensure good continuity of care services, clear communication and coordination is key. Healthcare providers, patients and their families should share medical information to make sure everyone understands the treatment plan and knows how to handle symptoms or emergencies.

It’s also important to look after the person’s emotional and mental well-being, not just their physical health, to support their recovery or manage their chronic conditions.

1. Develop a care plan

Having a comprehensive care plan in place is the first step in making sure that care is consistent. This plan should be created with input from the patient’s healthcare team, family or carers and most importantly, the person themselves.

It should include:

  • Medical history and current condition: Understanding someone’s health status is vital for the best care.
  • Medication management: Detailed instructions on medication types, dosages and schedules.
  • Therapy and rehabilitation: Schedules and goals for any physical, occupational or speech therapy.
  • Diet and nutrition: Guidelines on dietary restrictions and nutritional needs.
  • Emergency contacts and procedures: Information on who to contact and what to do in case of an emergency.

2. Coordinate with healthcare professionals

Clear and effective communication with healthcare professionals is the best way to maintain uninterrupted patient care. It is important to schedule a meeting with everyone involved in a person’s healthcare to thoroughly review the care plan, address any questions and understand any discharge instructions.   

Involving a care manager or care co-ordinator can be helpful in these situations because they are able to clarify medical advice. They can also make sure that any documentation needed is carried out properly.

Being proactive like this helps prevent misunderstandings and smooths any transition from hospital or other care setting to home care.

3. Prepare the home environment

Making adjustments to a home setting can be very helpful when enhancing a person’s recovery and quality of daily life. Tailoring the home to fit someone’s specific needs can involve a range of things, including:

  • Installing grab bars in bathrooms
  • Adjusting furniture for better accessibility
  • Setting up a bedroom on the first floor to avoid stairs

These changes can help to create a safer, hazard-free and more comfortable environment, reducing the risk of accidents.

4. Training carers and family members

Family members and carers play an essential role in home care. Carers, in particular, need to be properly trained to handle a person’s needs, including medication management, wound care, mobility assistance and emergency procedures.

Professional training sessions, online resources and hands-on demonstrations from healthcare professionals can provide the necessary skills and confidence.

5. Regular follow-up

It’s very important to have regular check-ups with the doctor or a community nurse so they can keep track of how a person is doing, solve any problems and change the care plan if necessary. It’s also key to keep all the people involved in their care in touch with each other, including family, carers and healthcare professionals.

Using an online document or a group chat to share health updates, concerns and plans can keep everyone informed and provide better care. Always make sure the patient is included in the conversations and decisions to show them respect and ensure they receive consistent care.

6. Using technology and home health services

Technology can be a great help when it comes to ensuring continuity of care. Devices such as medical alert systems, medication dispensers and health monitoring tools have been created to help manage health conditions effectively. They are also able to keep carers and health professionals up to date with a client’s care.

Additionally, home health services like nursing care, physiotherapy or live-in care can offer specialised support according to the individual’s requirements.

7. Emotional and psychological support

Recovering and living with a chronic condition can be not just physically challenging but also affect an individual’s emotional and psychological state.

With this is mind, it is extremely important that an individual needing care at home gets significant mental health support. Loss of independence, physical ability and/or mental capacity can have a huge effect on how an individual feels about themselves.

A person’s quality of life is likely to improve significantly when they get emotional support, social interaction and access to professional mental health services. When their quality of life is increased, their recovery can be quicker and smoother.

8. Reviewing and adjusting the care plan

A person’s needs can change over time, which will mean their care plan will need changing or updating. It’s important to regularly review the plan with healthcare professionals and family members to make sure it’s still working for the person recovering.

It’s a good idea to be flexible and open to changes, whether they involve adjusting medication, incorporating new treatments or changing their care routine.

Live-in carer options

Taking care of someone at home needs good planning, communication and teamwork. If your family member needs special care at home, Ranger Home Care can guide you through your choices.

Our live-in carers are trained in healthcare and can help with continuity of care. They provide all-around support, from helping with physical tasks to offering emotional support, to help the person stay independent and maintain a good quality of life.

If you’d like to know more about what a live-in carer does or how it can benefit your loved one, Ranger Home Care is here to help.

To explore the best possible care for your loved one, call 01252 850 040 or email natalie@rangerhomecare.com today.

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