How to Plan for Home Care After a Hospital Stay

Proactive discharge planning makes it much easier to transition back to a home environment after a trip to the hospital. Whether the stay was anticipated or an emergency, take these three steps to ensure a successful return home.

Be Clear on the Recovery Process

The extent and requirements of the recovery process depend on the nature of the hospital stay. An emergency resulting from an accident or sudden health event could be followed by several weeks or even months of additional home care. You or your loved one may be restricted in what activities can be performed independently, or it may be impossible to manage even the most basic daily tasks alone.

Begin a discussion about discharge planning as soon as possible during the hospital stay. Find out what medications will be necessary and how they must be administered. Ask about special equipment, such as canes or walkers, needed to aid in mobility during recovery. Get as much information as you can regarding the details and duration of the process so that you can make comprehensive plans.

Hire the Right Help

Once you understand what to expect during recovery, it’s time to find in-home help. Caring Home Care can match you or your loved with a home health aide or visiting CNA to administer medications or assist with bathing, dressing and other essentials.

Depending on the restrictions placed on you or your loved one, our caregivers can also help with light household chores, grocery shopping  and more!

Get a Follow-Up Schedule

Talk with the doctors regarding any follow-up appointments necessary for you or your loved one. Sometimes nothing is required aside from a quick visit to a primary care provider to make sure the recovery process is going as expected, but more complex procedures may be followed by several appointments to remove stitches or casts, take images of surgical sites or adjust doses of medications.

If no one provides an official schedule, ask the attending physician for his or her recommendations regarding follow-up medical care. A Caring Home Care health aide can assist with transportation and note taking at follow up appointments if desired.

Discharge planning for yourself or a loved one provides the support necessary for a healthy recovery following a hospital stay. Make sure you understand what’s required to make the transition and the weeks or months following as easy and as comfortable as possible, and start planning early to give yourself enough time to get everything in place.