If your loved one has been in the hospital and receiving care, being released and going home can be stressful. This is especially true if the patient has been totally dependent on the medical staff for their care. When a person is returning home from the hospital, they may be anxious about how they will care for themselves.
The good news is that hospitals don't discharge people without a plan in place. The medical staff has no desire to send someone home without the ability to care for themselves or with a care plan in place. If you have found yourself in this situation or a loved one will be dealing with the need to care for themselves, here are some tips to help you.
1. Be Part of the Plan
One of the most important things to do before a discharge is to take part in the planning process. This can alleviate much of the anxiety that is felt. During the planning process, a patient can voice any concerns and ask questions to be sure that they understand what will need to take place once they get home and who will be providing follow-up care.
2. Know What to Do
In the hospital, a patient is routinely given medication by hospital staff. When they get home, the patient will have to take their own medication and stay aware of any potential side effects. Before discharge, the patient should know what medications they are on, why they are being taken, and any side effects that could occur. The patient should also know what to do if those side effects do occur.
3. Physical Landscape
Before the patient returns home, someone should take charge in altering the physical landscape of the home if necessary. This may mean ensuring that all slip and fall hazards are eliminated, bedrooms are moved to a first floor, areas are well lit and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order.
4. Who Will Be Coming?
If a home-health aide or physical therapist will be coming to the home to aid the patient in recovery, the patient should know exactly who they are expecting and when. It may be helpful to install a lockbox over the front door handle so that the patient can give a key to whom they choose and won't be forced to give out their personal, permanent key or get up and down to let people in.
Know what supplies will be needed to care for the patient properly. This may include incontinence supplies, urinary catheters and other necessities. If there are special products that will be needed during recovery, make sure these are well stocked and can be re-ordered as needed.
If you or your loved one needs care products after being released from the hospital, Med on the Go has what you need. Reach out to our team or order your supplies online.