Is your parent or family member staying in a hospital or rehab facility and going to be discharged soon? To ensure a smooth return home and prevent a hospital readmission, go through this checklist to make sure you really are ready to bring your parent home from the hospital.
Have all of your questions been answered?
If you have any questions about your loved one’s condition or what the future holds, you should ask them before you leave the hospital. Questions to ask could be about medications, limitations or lifestyle changes, future appointments, support services and what to do if your parent’s condition changes.
Is their home ready?
Has someone cleaned out and restocked the fridge? If it’s winter time, has the walkway been shoveled? Do any modifications need to be made such as installing a grab bar in the bathroom or renting a hospital bed? Especially if the hospital stay was an unexpected one, someone may need to spend a few hours at their residence cleaning up and ensuring everything is in order for your loved one’s return home.
Have their prescriptions been filled? Have medical or assistive devices been obtained?
If your family member isn’t leaving the hospital with these things in hand, you need to make arrangements for them. If you’re unsure about where or how to obtain anything your loved one needs, ask a member of their medical team and they will point you in the right direction.
Are their follow up appointments booked?
If follow up appointments are required and they haven’t already been scheduled, you should arrange for them as soon as possible. Future appointments for your loved one could be with their family doctor, specialist clinic, monitoring such as x-rays or blood work or supports such as physiotherapy. It can be challenging to keep track of different appointments and healthcare providers, so make sure to have a central calendar or place to organize all of the dates, contact information and instructions for your parent’s care.
Have you planned for any help at home?
Life does not always go back to the way it was before a hospital or rehab stay. Whether the changes are temporary or permanent, big or small, your loved one may need some assistance with daily living once they return home. Depending on their needs, they may be eligible for government-funded homecare. If they are ineligible or need additional care beyond what friends and family can provide, professional homecare services can fill in the gaps with whatever support is needed.
Now are you ready to bring your parent home? Home is often the best place for your loved one to be. By taking the time to go through this checklist and carefully plan their hospital discharge, you can create a smooth transition home and help prevent a hospital readmission.
If your family member needs support with daily living after a hospital or rehab discharge, our skilled home caregivers and nurses can help. Call (289) 434-4704 to learn about our homecare services throughout Niagara, Hamilton and Burlington or (647) 793-2525 for homecare services in Toronto.