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“You’re Being Discharged Tomorrow … ”

Did you know that people who are well enough to be discharged from the hospital may have ongoing care needs and/or may not be well enough to safely function on their own?

A phrase that catches many hospital patients by surprise is, “You’re being discharged tomorrow.” Did you know that people who are well enough to be discharged from the hospital may have ongoing care needs and/or may not be well enough to safely function on their own?

To help people prepare and make a smooth transition, the discharge process usually starts as soon as the patient is admitted to the hospital. Ensuring the person’s safety and continued well-being after discharge is vital. It is important to work with a hospital social worker or discharge planner from the hospital to identify needs, potential barriers and to determine how to best accommodate someone’s needs.

The type of arrangements people make tend to be based on a medical condition, illness, age, support system and more. Upon discharge a person will typically go to either a: 

  • Personal residence – With/without family support, home care or outpatient services
  • Family member’s home – With/without professional home care or outpatient services 
  • Rehabilitation facility – Often a temporary arrangement 
  • Assisted-living community – Either temporary or permanent
  • Nursing home – Either temporary or permanent

For people who are transitioning to their home, with or without the need for services provided by a home care company, family members might find it helpful to consider the following:

  • Make sure you are aware of your role and limitations as a caregiver.
  • Seek training in order to provide the necessary support and be able to do so safely (e.g., transfers).   
  • Establish a routine and make sure to address known care needs (e.g., independent living activities, personal care).
  • Discuss and strive to agree on the things that matter most (e.g., safety, dignity, quality of life).
  • Seek to understand each other’s point of view (e.g., caregiver, care receiver). What may seem simple or obvious to one person may seem complex and overwhelming to another (e.g., making a meal, going out for a meal).  
  • Be careful to communicate feelings, fears and frustrations appropriately (e.g., “I’m asking you to please let me talk and just listen”). 
  • Know that regular feedback can be helpful (e.g., what’s working well, opportunities for improvement). Remember, people can only do or change something if they have the feedback.  

    

This article was written by Melanie Keech, President of Caring Solutions, LLC.

View the author's bio by clicking on the name.  You may also comment on the article by clicking Add Comment below.

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Christina Wilkening
Pathways
305 Carpenter Road
Fort Collins, CO 80525
970-663-3500

Expertise:
Hospice

Email Christina Wilkening