After discharge from the hospital, older patients often require continued home care, including both professional and nonprofessional services. These needs can be exacerbated by health status (i.e., frailty) and geographic residence (i.e., rurality). It was the purpose of this study1 to examine patterns of postdischarge home care and outcomes for frail elders from rural locations. Seventy frail older adults being discharged from an acute urban-based hospital to home in a rural setting were recruited. Baseline data were collected before discharge from the hospital, and then calls were made at 48 hr and 2 and 4 weeks after discharge to evaluate use of resources and out-of-pocket expenses. Nonprofessional services were used most frequently, and the most intense time of use was at the 2-week postdischarge period. These findings suggest that discharge planning should include obtaining information about availability of both professional and nonprofessional services in the home community and arranging for appropriate delivery of both.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Community and Home Care
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health