Planning for a Safe Discharge: More Than a Capacity Evaluation.
Discharge decision making for hospitalized older adults can be a complicated process involving functional assessments, capacity evaluation, and coordination of resources. Providers may feel pressured to recommend that an older adult with complex care needs be discharged to a skilled nursing facility rather than home, potentially contradicting the patient's wishes. This can lead to a professional and ethical dilemma for providers, who value patient autonomy and shared decision making. We describe a discharge decision-making framework focused on interprofessional evaluation and management, longitudinal follow-up, and education and support for patients and families. By gathering and synthesizing information, eliciting goals and preferences, and identifying community resources, the healthcare team can help maximize independence for vulnerable older adults. J Am Geriatr Soc 68:859-866, 2020.
Wong, SP; Sharda, N; Zietlow, KE; Heflin, MT
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