Considerations When Bringing Your Loved One Home From The Hospital

Posted on

Aug 26, 2021

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A hospital stay can be stressful for loved ones and caregivers, and the stress can increase when its time for the patient to be discharged. Often, the patient will need accommodations to support ongoing healing and recuperation, either at an inpatient rehabilitation facility, outpatient center or at home. This need can sometimes be an afterthought, leaving caregivers feeling overwhelmed. By thinking through the options for care in advance, loved ones and caregivers can reduce stress and be sure the patient has a safe environment conducive to healing after discharge.
Start Planning Early
If your loved one is in the hospital due to illness or injury, its likely the care team will want to schedule a time to discuss discharge expectations and aftercare. If you are serving as a caregiver for your loved one, its important to gather all the important details that will help you make an informed decision for their long-term well-being. Be prepared to discuss the expected date of discharge, what skills will be required for provided ongoing care that meets your loved ones needs and what the options are for facility, outpatient or at-home care. Depending on the level of care your loved one needs and their insurance coverage, you might opt for one option over another.
Consider Your Care Availability Realistically
It is common for caregivers to feel a sense of responsibility and guilt around being able to meet their loved ones needs. These feelings are normal yet can weigh down the caregiver and cause stress for everyone involved. If you are a caregiver for a loved one who needs increased support, ask yourself a few important questions to evaluate the level of support you may need.
How much time do you have available to dedicate to helping out?
Does your loved one need around the clock care? Will intermittent care meet their needs?
Are you retired or able to take time off work to meet your loved ones needs?
In the event of an illness or other emergency, do you have a back-up caregiver who can step in?
Are you able to meet all of the physical needs of your loved one (i.e., physically moving them, lifting them, etc.)?
Are you able to complete ancillary tasks such as taking your loved one to doctor appointments, ordering and picking up medication and taking care of things around the house?

Having an honest conversation with your loved ones care team can help determine the best option for supporting their long-term health.
Understand Your Options
Varying levels of care can be provided at home, in a residential care facility or both. Some of these care options include: Skilled home health offers a wide range of health care services delivered by specially trained health care professionals wherever the patient calls home. Private duty home care makes it possible to maintain the independence of living at home while receiving assistance with daily living activities such as personal grooming, meal preparation, housekeeping and companionship. Palliative care focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness or injury and can be administered at home or in a care facility, regardless of prognosis.

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