Have you heard of post-hospital syndrome? This is the period of vulnerability a patient faces when discharged from the hospital, which is why discharge planning is essential for families. So, where do you begin?
Discharge planning can bring a mix of emotions for families, including relief, excitement, and dread. It is natural to worry about hospital discharge, but with some simple planning, you can ensure a smooth process. Effective discharge planning can prevent your loved one from being readmitted to the hospital and ensure they have a smooth recovery.
Read on to learn some of the best tips for discharge planning.
Discharge Planning With Medical Professionals
One of the first steps with discharge planning is to meet with your loved one’s care team. It is the time to voice any concerns and ask any questions you may have. You can also discuss relapse signs and any medications they will be taking.
This is the time when you will also receive care recommendations, create a discharge plan, and determine what care needs to be in place. You can also ask for a written plan, so you can share it with your family and ensure everyone is on the same page.
Prepare Your Loved One’s Space
Where will your loved one be after their hospital discharge? If they are being transferred to a different care facility or to your home, it is time to make the arrangements. Alternatively, if they are returning home, it is time to prepare their space.
Studies have found that decluttering offers many benefits, including improved sleep, focus, memory, and happiness. Take the time to tidy your loved one’s space, stock up on their food supplies, and arrange for any new mobility aids, such as an electric stair chair, to be installed in the home.
Contact Insurance Companies
During discharge planning, contact your loved one’s insurance to check their coverage. This can inform the decisions you make during discharge planning. It will also help you narrow down the treatment options.
Understand Hospital Discharge Risks
As mentioned, post-hospital syndrome refers to the risks a patient faces when they leave the hospital. There are different reasons for this, including the original condition that led them to their hospital admission. However, their physical and emotional health has also been disrupted, so people usually need time to adapt once they are back in the community.
The best way you can support your loved one is by understanding the risks, addressing any practical concerns, and providing emotional support. It makes a significant difference for loved ones to know you are there to support them.
You can address any mobility and care concerns to ensure your loved one can focus on recovery.
Secure Post-Discharge Follow-up
Does your loved one need any follow-up appointments or visits? During discharge planning, be sure to make a note of any follow-up tests or appointments your loved one needs. Check what the relapse plan is and who to contact should your loved one’s condition change.
Explore Community Treatment Options
If you are caring for your loved one, ensure you also have support to protect your well-being. There are often community treatment options that will help your loved one restore their daily functioning and fitness. These can include community groups, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.
Your loved one’s hospital care team may provide some recommendations. You can also check local organizations for ideas.
Plan Home Care Support
Does your loved one need post-discharge care? Consider their personal, household, healthcare, and emotional care needs.
Some people require support, such as with bathing, companionship, cooking, driving, shopping, or collecting their medications. During discharge planning, it is essential to determine who will be providing this care.
If your family is providing the care, ensure everyone is on the same page. It is important to receive special care training, such as:
- Feeding care
- Catheter handling
- Ventilator use
- Moving patients
- Wound management
- Wheelchair use
- Communication techniques
The hospital team can provide these instructions in writing. They may also provide other resources, such as online videos or training sessions. Communication techniques may be needed if your loved one is experiencing memory problems or sensory difficulties due to their condition.
You can also hire support to help you. For example, you can arrange non-medical transportation to help your loved one attend appointments, collect medication, or other transportation needs.
Hire Patient Transport
Your loved one could benefit from a patient transport service once they are out of the hospital. For example, a patient transport service can help them reach doctors’ offices and other treatment centers. You can also get support for special events or special requests with Affinity Transit.
Here are some of the services we offer in the Los Angeles area:
- Stretcher transport
- Wheelchair transport
- Dialysis transport
- Stairchair lift assistance
- Hospital discharge transport
Patient transport can offer the tools your loved one needs to manage in the community safely. It can be challenging to transport a loved one to all of their appointments, especially if they have a wheelchair or other medical needs. Instead, contact a patient transport service to discuss discharge planning.
Book Discharge Transportation
It is essential your loved one has a smooth transition from the hospital from the moment they leave, so arrange hospital discharge transportation in advance.
Once your loved one is ready to leave the hospital, let them do it safely and in style. Specialized discharge transport will ensure your loved one is comfortable and gets home safe, no matter what level of service they need.
Contact Affinity Transit Patient Transport
Discharge planning will help your loved ones transition back into the community. Effective planning can be the difference between recovery and hospital readmission, so follow these tips to begin the process.
Are you based in Los Angeles or the surrounding area? Affinity Transit is a specialized door-to-door transportation service for all ages and needs, including transportation by wheelchair or stretcher.
We are a family-owned business dedicated to providing more accessible transportation for all. Request a quote today to get started.