So your loved one is finally on the mend and ready to come home from the hospital. Although many things will get back to normal, some things will have to be altered in everyone’s daily routine, especially if your loved one needs physical therapy. Good discharge planning is crucial to keeping your loved one on the right road to recovery. A rapid recovery means a swifter return to everyone’s normal routine, so it’s in everyone’s best interests to know what’s required of them. You should ask the doctor and nurses in charge of your loved one’s care what the plan is and what you can do to help and streamline the process.
So What Is Discharge Planning Exactly?
Discharge planning is the process in which the best route for moving a patient from one type of care to another is decided. Depending on what your loved one needs, a social worker, nurse, case manager, or other parties may be involved in the discharge process. The patient is evaluated for discharge and then spoken with about being discharged. If the patient is moving into a nursing home, rehabilitation services, or physical therapy, plans will have to be made for that step as well. If it’s a particular kind of case, training might be necessary for the caregiver once the patient goes home and suggestions for nursing homes or other services may be provided. Lastly, any necessary follow-up appointments may also be scheduled during this time.
What I Need to Know About Discharge Planning
Making sure that discharge planning is taken seriously and thoroughly is incredibly important. If it’s done right, the chances that your loved one will end up back in the hospital and recover faster are reduced, and it makes you bitter equipped for care (if necessary). You’ll know what medication they should be receiving, how much, and how to administer it, cutting down on medication errors. The right kind of discharge planning will also leave you with multiple resources should you encounter problems or need advice. Be attentive and ask questions if you don’t understand.
What if My Loved One Isn’t Going Home?
If your loved one needs 24 hour care, he or she may be headed to a nursing home while they require that kind of attention, even if they’re not elderly. Nursing homes have nursing aides and experienced nurses available 24/7 and are a good place for people who are well enough to be released form the hospital, but still need around the clock medical care.
Physical therapy, on the other hand, can be used for recovery after certain surgeries, illnesses, or accidents. It helps patients improve their range of motion and relieve pain, as well as increasing flexibility, strength, endurance, and coordination.
In either one of these situations, it adds an extra layer to the discharge planning process. You want to make sure you’re choosing the right facility for your loved one and understand the steps to get them into the facility they need. You should talk about any concerns you have with your discharge planner during the process.