Make the Transition from Hospital to Home as Smooth as Possible
A hospital stay for surgery and/or illness can be stressful and daunting. But once you’ve made it through all the poking and prodding, and you are deemed ready to go home, will you be prepared? Getting ready for the transition from the hospital to home is a crucial step in your recovery plan. And you may be surprised to realize that the need for care does not always end, just because you are going home.
You will meet with a hospital discharge planner prior to going home who will provide you with an individualized plan based on your age, lifestyle, prognosis, health history, and level of activity. Below are some important questions to discuss with the discharge planner before making the long journey home.
*Think about the physical attributes of your home, and whether they will be manageable. For instance, are there stairs to climb? Will you easily be able to go from the bedroom to the bathroom?
*Will you need medical treatment at home such as wound care, diabetic counseling, or physical therapy?
*What restrictions will apply to your day-to-day activities? Are you able to drive, bathe, exercise?
*What prescriptions will you need, and what are the instructions for each?
*Is there a special diet you need to be following, or can you return to your normal eating habits?
*Do you have a family member or friend who can give you support at home? Have they been fully informed about your condition, and about expectations for the healing process?
*Are there certain warning signs or complications of which you should be aware? What are some of the problems that would indicate you need to call your doctor or surgeon?
*Are follow up appointments required? Getting clear answers on all of the above will give you a healthy start on your journey to recovery. It is always good to remember that recovery is a process, and it may take more time than you think to regain your strength and return to normalcy. Try to set realistic goals and keep a positive attitude. Some careful planning and a happy disposition will both help tremendously as you move from hospital to home-sweet-home.