Your elderly parent is home from the hospital. What happens next?

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From the Washington Post (April 21, 2016)

When my 87-year-old mother was hospitalized for the second time in as many weeks with congestive heart failure, my siblings and I rallied to her bedside. I was visiting when she was discharged and, along with my brother who lived nearby, I set out to make sure doctors’ orders were followed.

That meant a new medication regime, a low-salt diet and the purchase of some items to help my weakened mother move around safely. It also meant sleeping over at her apartment in case my mom, who was not one to ask for a hand, needed assistance.

The first night I lay awake, listening for a call that never came. The second night, on my brother’s shift, she fell on her way to the bathroom.

Our story is not unique. “More and more, people recover at home,” says Laurel Northouse, a professor emerita at the University of Michigan School of Nursing. “It used to be common to stay in the hospital longer.”

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