After any major surgery or illness, there will most likely be changes needed at home. You’re the main caregiver, so how can you make sure your loved one has a smooth transition back to home? What changes will be required to keep mom or dad safe and comfortable?
Get the facts
Your first step is to gather as much information as possible from the medical professionals at the hospital or rehab facility. Make sure you get regular updates, and when it’s time for your love one to come home, ask for a discharge meeting.
Ideally this will be with a team of experts who have been caring for your loved one or are familiar with their case, including a social worker or discharge planner, along with doctors, nurses and therapists. If they can’t all be together at the same time, ask to talk to them individually or contact them by phone with questions.
Before your loved one comes home, make sure to ask:
• What is your expectation for recovery? What is the short- and long-term prognosis?
• What will the follow-up treatment be?
• Will my loved one need health care services at home, such as nursing, or
physical or occupational therapy?
• What safety precautions are there? Are they able to live alone or with their spouse?
• What kind of help will be needed at home? Will we need to hire a caregiver to help with dressing, bathing, cooking or cleaning?
• Are there any dietary considerations? Concerns about appetite?
• What medications are needed and why is each one prescribed?
• If possible, how soon can regular activities be resumed?
• What are the concerns about pain? How long is it expected to last?
• In what case should we contact a doctor?
• Is any medical equipment needed, such as a wheelchair, special furniture or oxygen?
• What resources can you offer to help in this transition?
• How will all of these services be covered? What can I expect insurance to pay for? What is covered under Medicare?
Once you have answers to these questions, you and your family can make a plan to ensure a smooth transition and set up the services your loved one will need.
Home Care Angels provides assistance with daily activities, such as dressing, eating and personal care, from home service aides. Please call 847.824.5221 to speak with one of our Client Care Coordinators if you would like more information on in-home care