The discharge planning process is an important part of the journey to health and recovery, and there are things you can do to ease the transition and ensure your loved one will get the care he or she needs after leaving the hospital, rehab, or a transitional care unit.
One of the easiest ways to make sure you have all the relevant information is to ask the discharge planner or social worker questions. Here are some topics you should cover during the discharge planning process and some questions you can ask.
Discharge Planner FAQ: Knowing What Topics to Cover
There are a lot of questions you should be asking your discharge planner, and the questions will cover a range of topics. You'll also need to inquire about how long special care or treatment will need to continue after discharge. Furthermore, if you aren't comfortable or capable of providing any part of the care needed, you'll need to talk to the discharge planner about arranging assistance.
After leaving the hospital or rehab, your loved one may require special care. It’s integral you understand the scope of care and everything your loved one is going to require. Some questions to ask include:
- Does your loved one need assistance with the activities of daily life?
- Is there any special therapy, exercise, or treatment your loved one needs?
- How long is recovery expected to take?
- What warning signs should you look for?
- Will your loved one need assistance with housekeeping and daily tasks?
The doctor may recommend a special diet that’s adapted to the changing needs of a senior, and you need to know if there are any special foods your loved one should be eating or avoiding. Questions you can ask are:
- Do they require a special diet?
- Are there any dietary restrictions?
- Does your loved one require special types of foods, such as soft foods or liquids only?
After an illness or injury, it’s possible your loved one may require special medications. You need to know what those medications are, when they need to be taken, and how the medications should be managed. You can ask things such as:
- What are the names and doses of all the medications needed?
- At what time should the medications be administered, and for what duration?
- What are the possible side effects?
- Are there special instructions, such as take with food, or on an empty stomach?
Equipment and Supplies
If your loved one requires any special equipment, you both have to be familiar with and how to use it properly. This could include a cane, hospital bed, wheelchair, oxygen, grab bars for the shower, or assistive devices. Questions to ask include:
- What equipment or supplies are needed?
- How, when, and where can you learn to use them correctly?
- Where can the equipment or supplies be acquired?
- What will insurance cover?
- Does your loved one require supplies like incontinence items, special creams, or wound care supplies?
When your loved one is released from a hospital or rehab program, being prepared for what comes next is critical for ensuring they will receive the care and treatment he or she requires to continue healing.
If your loved one is in transitional care or attending a rehab program with Walker Methodist, our discharge planners will be happy to help your family get all the answers you need. To request more information about the discharge planning process at a Walker Methodist TCU or rehab program, reach out to us today.