Multimorbidity combined with geriatric syndromes in older adults with diabetes exacerbate their risks for poor post-discharge outcomes. The purpose of this study was to examine self-described hospital-to-home transition challenges encountered by older adults with a diagnosis of diabetes within the first 30 days following discharge. The qualitative responses for this paper emerged from a larger mixed methods study (n = 96) in which participants provided free responses specifying transition challenges during follow-up telephone interviews on the 7th day (n = 67) and 30th day (n = 55) post-discharge. Using inductive content analysis techniques four major themes emerged: a) "The daily stuff is difficult"; b) engineering care at home is complex; c) "life is very difficult"; and d) managing complex health problems is difficult. Findings suggest existing system-level metrics such as readmission rates fail to capture the complex and dynamic interplay of personal, family and social factors which complicate hospital-to-home transitions of older adults with pre-existing diabetes.
Keywords: Care transition; Diabetes; Multimorbidity; Older adults; Post-discharge coping.
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