What Community-based Services Can Help?
Provide resources for community-based services to ease caregivers’ worries. Services like home-delivered meals, home health aides, nutrition counseling, and light housekeeping can significantly lighten a caregiver’s load. But passing along a phone number is not a referral. Making the phone call together and facilitating the caregiver’s efforts to connect with the service is. In some settings, a social worker or discharge planner can assist with these important services.
Your job is to safely discharge the patient. Think about whether certain support services are realistic for the patient. It’s also helpful to make sure the patient and family caregiver fully understand the services and how to use them.
Can the patient and family caregiver access those services? Do they feel comfortable doing so?
Follow these steps to get started:
- Determine the patient’s and caregiver’s need for services.
- Familiarize yourself with your local available services.
- Identify the patient’s or family caregiver’s eligibility for the specific services needed.
- Gauge patient and caregiver interest and willingness to accept services.
- Use caution when sharing patient information during the community service referral to remain HIPAA compliant.
Use these resources to guide your conversation around accessing community-based services:
- Caregiving at Home: A Guide to Community Resources
- Referring Patients and Family Caregivers to Community-Based Services: A Provider’s Guide
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