Once you are well enough to leave the hospital, it is time to return home. This is a major step in a recovery, but for many people requires arrangements and adjustments. Let’s explore how to ensure a smooth return home from a hospital stay:
Your hospital discharge will be coordinated between you, your care team, and your family caregiver. Generally, you will have at least a few days’ notice to prepare for your discharge, especially following a lengthy hospital stay. Plan ahead to coordinate the discharge. Will a family member or friend be picking you up from the hospital? Do you need to arrange ambulance or taxi service? If you are leaving a rehabilitation program, you may have a trial visit home for a day or a few hours accompanied by members of your hospital care team. Your family can also equip the house to ensure a smooth transition. If your rehabilitation is continuing at home, the patient flow coordinator at the hospital will pre-arrange for a care coordinator from C.C.A.C. (Community Care Access Centre) to meet with you very shortly after your return home. The coordinator’s job is to assess your home environment for safety and function; set up P.S.W. (Personal Support Worker) if required; physio and occupational therapy in the home if you may be house bound for some time or an out patient clinic.
Equipping Your House
Following your hospital stay, your house may need to be properly equipped to accommodate your recovery. Having your house equipped before your arrival will make for a smoother return home. For example, you can purchase or rent a wheelchair from trusted brands like AMG, Guardian, Invacare, or Pride. You can also purchase or rent a rollator to help with walking around the house, like the AMG Airgo Lightweight Rollator. Additional safety and accessibility products including bathroom safety products can make your home safer and more convenient during the recovery period. Other changes may be suggested to you by a specialist in Home Medical Equipment like MEDability Healthcare Solutions for example grab bars in the shower area; removing loose rugs throughout the home; improving lighting around staircases or installing a stair lift or something as simple as a hand rail along stair cases.
Acknowledge the Adjustment Period
Just because you are discharged from hospital does not mean that you have returned to full health and ability. It can be a difficult adjustment transitioning from 24/7 care and support at the hospital. It is OK to be in pain, to be frustrated, to be exhausted, and to be depressed. Acknowledge that it takes time and your recovery will not be instantaneous. Recovery includes many components including rest, nutrition, activity, support, and a prioritization of mental health.
Don’t Push Yourself
Following a lengthy hospital stay, it is normal to have little energy. If you also have physical limitations, even regular activities like going to the bathroom or making a meal can be exhausting. Listen to your body and don’t push yourself. Focus on small goals, like making a drink or walking a few steps, and then take a rest.
Listen to Your Doctor
Upon discharge, your doctor will give you recommendations – follow them. Continue medication, do rehabilitation, exercises, and follow the advice of your doctor/surgeon/therapists. However, stop if you feel unwell or out of breath during exercise. Your recovery process must continue even though you have been discharged from hospital.
Talk to Someone
During your hospital stay, you may have been surrounded by a network of friends and family who were anxious to show their support for you and your recovery. This is an important part of recovery, and should continue after you leave the hospital. Talk to a family member, friend, therapist, caregiver, or doctor about your needs, wants, and concerns. Resume regular social activities once you are ready.
At MEDability, we want to help you with a smooth recovery to increase your independence and improve your way of life. If you have any further questions about your our mobility products and how home medical solutions can help your recovery, give us a call at 905-471-5224 ext.23, visit our showroom in Markham or browse our site www.medability.com to learn more.