A trip to the hospital, especially if it is unexpected, can be overwhelming for you and your family. As you and your medical team focus on your treatment while in the hospital, you may not be thinking about what happens when it’s time to go home.
However, a proper transition out of the hospital is crucial for a good recovery and can even reduce your odds of future hospital stays. When planning for your discharge, there are some key questions to address to clear up any confusion about your care.
You’ll likely be tired and feeling less than 100%, so you may have difficulty concentrating on or processing the important information the nurse is giving you, then you can ask someone else such as siblings, relatives or friends to be present and ask questions.
Use our hospital discharge checklist below.
Hospital Discharge Checklist. Here are 10 important things to consider when preparing for a hospital discharge:
1.Safety – Is your home a safe place for your recovery?
Where will your parent live? How will you get your parent from the hospital to his home or other residence?
Find out what daily activities your parent can do on her own and what she'll need help with. Don't make assumptions. Think about any stairs, steps, or other mobility challenges inside your home and create a plan for how you will deal with them. Can she take a shower? How do we care for her wound?Is it okay if she goes to her granddaughter's wedding in two weeks? Will friends or family be there to assist you? If not, consider hiring a professional caregiver – whether for a few hours a week or every day – to help you with a safe and comfortable recovery.
Do you need someone to drive you? Once home, you may need additional assistance getting out of the car, walking up steps, etc. This is especially
important if you’ve had major surgery. Get instructions as to your limits.
2. Transportation – How will you get home from the hospital?
Plan your transportation home before it’s time to leave. Ask for a ride from a family member, friend, or caregiver who can drive you, or book a grab car. Would you need an ambulance service? It is also important to think about how you will get to doctor’s appointments and other activities once you get home.
3. Food – Do you have food and other necessities at home?
While you’re recovering, doing errands may be especially difficult. If your refrigerator is not currently stocked, ask if a friend or family member could bring what you need to the house before you arrive. Consider your meals for the first week or two of your recovery and plan for a companion who will help you with shopping or meal preparations.
4. Medication – Do you have all the medications you’ll need?
Has there has been any change in your medications during your hospitalization? Be clear on your medication, dosage, when and how to take them, potential side effects, diet, rehab, precautions, symptoms to watch for, and whom to call in case there's a problem before you head home, and make sure you have what you need. What should you do if he misses a dose?
If you are unable to visit the pharmacy, ask the hospital to discharge you with all your medications.
5. Doctor’s Appointments – What is your follow-up care?
Ask if and when you need a follow up appointment and with which doctor. When is his next medical appointment? Be sure to write down the important information, or ask a loved one to take notes on your behalf.
Review a list of follow-up doctor visits and tests.
6. Home Health Care service?
Home Health Care includes skilled nursing, physiotherapy and other related medical services you can receive at home. Discuss with your hospital team whether you are eligible for reimbursed through your medical insurance. A doctor must make the referral so be sure to ask them to refer you while you are still in the hospital.
What can you do to improve his health or heal more rapidly?
We have compiled a list of home nursing companies, professional care managers that can take the stress off of you and your loved ones by helping you plan and get to doctor’s appointments, help you navigate insurance and healthcare decisions, and communicate with your family and medical team.
7. Equipment – Do you need any medical equipment at home?
What medical equipment might you need? Will you need a hospital bed, commode, a shower chair, a walker? If so, discuss your needs with the hospital doctor or nurse who incharge of discharging your parents. Where can you get it? Will your insurance, socso, or zakat cover it?
Ask what you need for your safety and/or recovery, how and where you should arrange to get it, and when you must have it. Provide information about your home environment so everyone involved has a clear picture of what kind of help you’ll need. You might need to engage occupational therapist to conduct a home hazard assessment prior to discharge from the hospital to ensure that your home is safely equipped for your loved ones to recover safely.
iElder.asia provides new medical equipment, second hand and rental options. Depending on your needs and budget, we at iElder can assist you with our Buy Now, Pay Later Installment plans up to 24 months to help you afford quality home care products for the comfort of your loved ones and long-term care.
What happens when you no longer need your medical equipment? iElder can assist you to display your products on our webpage in our second-hand section. If another customer decides to purchase from you, we will arrange for transport to deliver your second-hand equipment to the new buyers.
8. Daily Routines – What changes or adjustments will you need to make?
What skills do you need to properly lift, move, feed, or help your loved one in other ways?
Make sure you are clear on post-hospitalization instructions such as medication changes, dietary restrictions, or activities you should avoid. In addition, take note of any activities you need to add to your daily routines such as exercises, physical therapy or other post-hospitalization care.
9. Household chores – Will you need help with cooking, cleaning, or laundry?
Managing a household after a hospitalization can be especially difficult. Especially if you live alone, bringing in temporary home care can take stress off you. Hire third party maid agency to do some household chores.
10. Care Management – Will you need assistance managing your care?
Hospitalization can be disorienting and it is common to require some help managing all your care needs while you get back on your feet. Is there any support group nearby for family caregivers, or a social worker available to support your family?
Once back home, you may have questions about wound care, medications, follow-up visits, exercise, diet, etc. It’s important to have contact information for someone at the hospital whom you can call to get answers. Please get the name and number of person to call if you have questions.
2. How to Care for Aging Parents, Virgina Morris
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