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Determining the Best Place for Your Loved One to Recover

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Medical professional prescription kathy and senior

When a loved one is discharged from the hospital, it can be a relief and it can be terrifying. Often times, there are new medications, orders for physical therapy, a new diet, even additional care. There are a lot of decisions that need to be made, and knowing where to start can be overwhelming.

The first thing to know is that these considerations need to be made before the discharge. You’ll need time to make arrangements. Your loved one will likely have a case manager or a discharge nurse that can help you through this process. You can ask a nurse on duty to get you in touch with the appropriate person.

Now that you know who to talk to, what do you need to ask? What should you be discussing?

·         Expected date of discharge
Are there any conditions to the discharge – a care plan in place, a medical milestone?
·         Type of aftercare required
Will your loved one require inpatient care in a nursing facility or rehabilitation center or can they take advantage of outpatient care or home care? Often times a combination of in-home care and outpatient care work well together.
·         Staff recommendations for discharge options
Remember that the staff is part of the care team. Don’t be afraid to ask for their recommendation.
·         List of providers for aftercare
Depending on where you live, there may be many options for aftercare. Ask the discharge planner or case manager if they have a list of care providers.
·         List of resources for additional information and support
The staff should also be able to provide you with additional resources should you need assistive devices, information on a special diet, support groups, and more.  
For a complete list of questions to ask, as well as a checklist to prepare your loved one’s home for their return and what to expect in the first 30 days post discharge, download the Returning HomeSM Guide. ​


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