Transferring to a Transitional Care Hospital: What Is It All About?

Assisted Living Seniors

If your elderly loved one has had an accident or has had a serious illness, moving him or her to a transitional care hospital is a significant step in their recovery process. One of the most common types of hospital setting is one that provides short-term acute care for patients who have suffered surgeries or emergencies brought on by an accident or illness. The immediate goal of this kind of care is to stabilize the patient so that they can comfortably begin their recovery process. However, a quick recovery is often unrealistic for many patients who will require ongoing care either in the form of a transitional care hospital or transitional home care. For information about transitional care from hospital to home please read this article.

More About a Transitional Care Hospital Setting

A transitional care hospital offers medically complex and aggressive care, short-term rehabilitation, and intensive care. Often licensed as acute care hospitals and also certified as long-term acute care institutions, these hospitals are able to care for patients who are critically ill and those who require specific, goal-directed, and specialized care over an extended period of time. Patients are usually able to stay for longer than the usual five days that traditional hospitals accommodate for.

In a typical transitional care hospital, the care is provided by an interdisciplinary team that is usually made up of nurses, physicians, speech therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, and any other type of caregivers the patient may require. Overall, the team’s goal is to identify a patient’s medical condition, devise a comprehensive treatment plan, set reachable goals, and coordinate the care required to achieve those goals. The ultimate goal is to improve the patient’s condition.

Conditions and Treatments

Patients usually require around 25 – 30 days’ stay in the transitional care hospital. Many elderly patients, especially, have co-existing medical conditions, some chronic and some acute. Services that may require treatment before transitional home care can be considered include:

  • Ventilator management
  • Special monitoring
  • Dialysis
  • Nutritional therapy
  • Weaning
  • Wound care
  • IV therapy
  • Pain management

Some of the most common conditions seen in these types of hospitals include:

  • Pressure wounds
  • Pulmonary disease
  • Emphysema
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Ventilator dependence
  • Multiple organ system failures
  • Postoperative complications, including stroke, bleeding, and infection
  • Neuromuscular diseases
  • Cardiac disease
  • Gastrointestinal diseases

If a patient is moved from transitional home care to a hospital, their regular physician may continue to see them, Other times, the care will be transferred to a doctor who specializes in caring for patients who need long-term acute care.

Getting Involved in a Loved One’s Recovery

If your elderly relative is suffering from a chronic or acute illness or recovering from an operation, your involvement in their recovery and healing process at a transitional care hospital is vital. You can offer a valuable service to your loved on as well as the interdisciplinary team by providing background information and ample support. The entire care team will work with you towards the patient’s recovery through social services, case management, and family meetings.

While completing undergraduate work Adinah worked with her grandmother, founder of Caring People, to learn about the homecare industry. Upon completion of her Master's of Public Administration, Adinah returned to the healthcare industry to positively impact the lives of the elderly and their caregivers. You can follow her through the buttons below.