Planning Smooth Hospital Discharge to Home

Your 1+1 Team
December 16, 2021

Bringing your loved one from their hospital stay is not as simple as picking up your child from sleepaway camp. There are a lot of aspects to consider for seniors to have a smooth transition back home. Planning for a hospital discharge is a necessary step to avoid patient readmissions and interrupting their recovery. Include yourself in the conversation with the doctor about your loved one’s hospital discharge and get involved in the planning process. We have compiled steps to help you get started in preparing for your elderly family member’s hospital discharge and transition home.

Questions to consider for a smooth transition to home

Answering the following questions can guide you in what to consider for your hospital discharge planning:

  • What phone numbers do I need to have?
  • Who will pick up prescriptions? Do I need to depend on a family member for this job? Will they be readily available when a refill is needed?
  • Who will answer questions about the prescriptions? Should I contact the doctor, the pharmacist, or does the hospital have someone else I can contact with questions about care?
  • What symptoms should I pay attention to that might suggest a problem during recovery?
  • Will the prescription drugs cause drowsiness or confusion?
  • What medical equipment might we need at home (such as a walker, crutches, or telehealth devices), and who will provide them?
  • What tasks might be difficult to perform when coming home? (Ex. bathing, dressing, cooking, climbing stairs, shopping, driving, picking up prescription drugs, etc.)
  • What activities are not recommended following surgery?

Important aspects in the planning process

A comprehensive medical evaluation:

You can get a clear idea about the condition of the patient both physically and psychologically, as well as receive recommendations about any essential treatment by the doctor.

Finances and Insurance:

You also need to overview the insurance plans and what they will all cover. Considering if you need financial assistance is an important factor as the hospital discharge can be followed by the expenses for in-house medical equipment or fees from various healthcare facilities. You may also need to look into the costs of hospital discharge transportation if you cannot be there to take your loved one to and from the hospital, rehabilitation facilities, etc.

Non-emergency medical treatment:

Don’t neglect follow-up appointments, prescription frequencies, medication, and progress expectations as it will help you monitor your loved one’s recovery. The medications planned for the home have to be introduced so that the patient doesn’t experience heavy side effects or withdrawal symptoms. For the best results, caregivers’ roles and responsibilities must coincide with their treatment plans. The patient also should be involved in the planning of these tasks so they comply with the steps of their recovery process. Everything should be written and spoken in a language that they can understand.

Selecting a proper healthcare facility and source of care:

Family members and caregivers need to fully research the right healthcare facilities before things are finalized. Additionally, the caregivers, whether it be family or professionals, should undergo specific training programs so that they can deliver the best recovery process for your loved one.

Diet & physical activity:

Discuss with the doctor what the proper diet and exercise regimen would be for your loved one’s recovery. You must follow the doctor’s recommendations even when you are meeting with therapists and nutritionists.

Educating yourself and your loved one with the information needed for hospital discharge planning can help you ease them into a smooth and successful transition home. It’s more than just buying a teddy bear in the hospital gift shop!

1+1 Cares is a referral agency that works for clients and caregivers. We match caregivers with clients and inform them of your requirements. We work for you so you and your loved one can have a safe, enjoyable caregiving experience. Get Care today!

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