Hospital Discharge Guide
Part 4: Supporting Your Loved One’s Recovery
The goal of this guide is to prepare you for the discharge process. We will walk you through a hospital discharge—important considerations, the key players involved, and steps to take after discharge. This guide is useful for patients of all ages. However, if you need help during the discharge process, contact our expert team at 650 462-1001 to help you coordinate post-hospital care for your loved one.
Here is an overview of the hospital discharge process. If you would like to jump to a particular section, click the corresponding heading.
Support Your Loved One’s Recovery
A long-term plan is essential to a smooth recovery. Consider the following topics as you help your loved one develop a recovery plan for day one and beyond.
Services and Supplies
In some cases, you may need to order supplies for short-term or ongoing needs. Medical supplies include the proper equipment to administer medications, walkers, wheelchairs, bed pans, ventilators, and other devices. A private duty nurse can lead an educational visit and teach you how to clean wounds and administer medications, among other skills. This one-on-one attention can give you and your loved one the confidence needed to continue down the path to recovery.
New medical devices and home modifications can take time to adjust to. After an illness or surgery, some people may be required to make lifestyle changes, such as a new diet or exercise regimen. Your loved one should discuss what changes they should anticipate after discharge with their healthcare provider.
Support groups can be very beneficial in venting frustrations and connecting with people who are going through similar experiences. Stay positive, and remind your loved one to approach recovery with an open mind.
Know What to Expect
Recovery can be a life-long process. Knowing what to expect in your loved one’s recovery is a critical first step. Be frank when discussing what the recovery process will look like and the duration. Your loved one should not be disappointed if they are sticking to the plan but not advancing as quickly as they would like. Everyone’s personal journey is different. Overexertion can hinder recovery more than it can help. Allow them to take their recovery a day at a time. If the plan needs to be updated, be open with their doctor and discuss any difficulties that have emerged.
Family and friends are a wonderful first line of support, but sometimes, it can be difficult for them to provide the care needed. There are local support groups for individuals with chronic diseases, or those who have experienced life-altering events, such as a stroke. Your loved one’s care team can share the local resources that will benefit them most.
Caregiver burnout is a real problem for family members who are caring for their loved ones. Many agencies offer respite care to provide you with the relief you deserve. There are also support groups where family caregivers can connect.
It can be easy to want to rush the discharge process and bring your loved one home sooner than they are safely able to do so. Everyone’s primary goal should be the health and wellbeing of the patient. Follow this hospital discharge guide, and choose the best recovery plan for your loved one.
To learn more about how a private duty nurse can ease the transition into post-hospital care, call (650) 462-1001 to speak with a NurseRegistry Care Advisor.