Activities of daily living outcomes of hospital discharge planning for people 55 years of age and over living in Yukon

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Hedstrom, Valerie Ann
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This qualitative study examined the outcome of hospital discharge for Yukon people 55 years of age and over. A descriptive design was used to answer the following questions: Within the first three weeks following hospital discharge, are Yukon people 55 years of age and over able to perform, with or without formal or informal assistance, activities of daily living? Is there a difference in the functional level of the person, within four days prior to hospital discharge compared to three weeks post discharge, based upon a nursing assessment? Semi-structured interviews and the Katz Index of Activities of Daily Living were used for data collection. A Health/Illness Nursing Model of Transition first developed by Chick and Meleis, (1986) provided the framework for the study. Qualitative thematic content analysis revealed that all eight of the patients who participated in this study were able to perform activities of daily living with the assistance of professional caregivers and informal caregivers including friends, family and neighbours. Activities of daily living assessments changed from hospital to home. There was a decrease in ability to manage bathing at home as a result of bathroom design and safety. There were gaps in communication among professional caregivers and differing expectations between patients and caregivers. The degree of trust patients had in their caregivers, previous experiences, loneliness and fear for safety were described with respect to patients satisfaction with outcome.