Even under the best of circumstances, a hospital stay for an illness and/or surgery can be exhausting and stressful. Preparing for the transition from hospital to home is an important step in your treatment plan. Your need for care does not necessarily end when you leave the hospital.
The hospital discharge planner will provide an individualized plan based on your diagnosis, prognosis, age, health history, lifestyle, and level of activity. Discuss the following with the discharge planner:
- Consider your home environment. Are there stairs? Are the bedroom and bathroom on the same floor? Will you need medical equipment to adapt to home?
- What restrictions and instructions will apply to bathing / driving / diet / exercise / medication after hospitalization?
- Will medical treatment be necessary at home? Wound care? Physical therapy? Diabetic follow up? Your doctor and discharge planner will discuss home health care with you and review your insurance coverage.
- What, if any, prescription drugs will you need?
- Are there complications or warning signs you should be aware of?
- Do you have support from a family member or friend at home? Have they been updated on your condition and expectations of recovery?
- Are follow up appointments necessary?
- Keep in mind that recovery is a process and it may take time to rebuild your strength. Approaching your recovery with a positive attitude, while setting realistic goals, are both key to attaining success.
Suggestion: Keep a notebook with you to take notes when speaking with your healthcare providers.
A little advance planning will ensure a smooth transition from hospital to home. Welcome home!
The article is provided in part by Mary Ellen Garofalo, RN, BA, CRRN, SPHR, of Bayada Nurses, one of the largest home health care providers in the United States. Founded in 1975, the company has 130 offices in 16 states. The following health plans have contracts with Bayada Nurses: Fallon Community Health Plan, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan.
This information provided by the Group Insurance Commission.