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Understanding Transitional Care: What to Expect After a Hospital Stay

After a stay in the hospital, you may not be ready to go home right away. You could need a little help getting up and around again, or you might have a wound that hasn’t completely healed. When you’re ready to be discharged from the hospital but it’s not quite time to go home, you may be referred for something called transitional care.

If you’ve never experienced transitional care before, you may not know what to expect. Here are a few things that typically happen if you’re moved to a transitional care unit.

Discharge Planning

If transitional care is recommended for you, you’ll know about it ahead of time. Discharge planning is an important part of preparing to leave a hospital, whether you’ve checked in for preplanned surgery or you’ve had an event that required sudden medical care. The planning process includes evaluating your condition, discussing it with you and your loved ones, and deciding where you’ll go after you leave. If transitional care is recommended, your doctor will issue a referral and set everything up to make the transfer easy.

The Caregiver’s Role

Although your medical team will handle lining up care, your loved ones will play an important role in ensuring you get the recuperation support you need. They will serve as your advocates, keeping your best interests in mind as they sign off on any recommendations. Make sure you communicate your own wishes during this time and feel free to voice any questions or concerns you have.

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During Transitional Care

Although each location is unique, transitional care is designed for the comfort of patients. The type of care you receive depends on the healing you need. Services can include everything from physical or occupational therapy to speech rehabilitation. Care is always administered with the ultimate goal of getting you home. You’ll be given a place to sleep, as well as meals during your stay, and many transitional care units have a long list of amenities available to their guests.

Transitioning Home

As with your hospital care, your transitional care discharge will be planned in advance. From the start, your daily activities in transitional care will be geared toward helping you heal at home. Before you can be released, your loved ones will need to ensure you have a safe environment well equipped for any additional healing. There will also be professionals at the transitional care unit assigned to ensure you have the support you need to transition to home. You’ll likely also be sent home with a printout of exercises to do on a regular basis to support your rehabilitation. In some cases, you may be asked to participate in therapy on a scheduled basis moving forward. At times, the transition to a home environment is difficult and assisted living is a better option, while this is not always the case, it’s important to weigh your options. 

Transitional care bridges the gap between the hospital environment and home, ensuring you have the support you need as you go back to your day-to-day life. It’s important to make sure you have a say in the transitional care selected for you, but knowing what to expect will make the process much more simple when and if the time for transitional care does come. To learn more about transitional care at Walker Methodist, visit us online or contact us directly.

Topics: Transitional Care, Featured

Walker Methodist

Written by Walker Methodist

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