It’s such a relief when a loved one is able to end their hospital stay. With all of the stress that comes along with worrying about the wellbeing of your loved one, it’s easy to forget to properly plan for your family member’s discharge should they be transitioning into a rehabilitation program.
With a bit of advanced planning, you can be confident that the transition from hospital to rehabilitation program is smooth and stress-free. Keep the following checklist handy so you don’t miss any steps in the process.
Choosing a Rehabilitation Program
- o Is your loved one’s hospital visit is premeditated (such as a hip replacement surgery)? If so, you can begin planning their rehabilitation stay before they even go to the hospital.
- o If the hospital visit was not premeditated, you should begin looking for rehabilitation programs as soon as you now there will be a need for one, even if you don’t yet have a discharge date.
- o Review Medicare.gov to find ratings for rehabilitation facilities prior to choosing the right program to send your loved one to.
- o Ensure that the building that houses the rehabilitation program is safe and easy to get to. Smoke detectors, clearly marked exits and facility-wide emergency plans will give you peace of mind.
- o If your loved one has dementia, make sure that the rehabilitation program offers specialized care that caters to their needs.
- o Be sure that you have a complete understanding of special care techniques that your loved one needs prior to being admitted to the rehabilitation facility, so you can both communicate the instructions properly to other caregivers or provide them yourself once your loved one is home. We recommend writing these instructions down so there is no risk for confusion.
- o Have a list of medications, dosages and the appropriate time to take each medicine. Be sure to have a plan for how these medications will be refilled, delivered and administered.
- o When transitioning from a hospital to a rehabilitation program, you should work closely with staff at the rehabilitation facility to ensure they understand your family member’s state of health. Explain capabilities and limitations, review medications they may be on, and any other important information regarding the care they need.
- o Work with hospital staff and the rehabilitation facility to determine an expectation for how long your family member will need to stay in the rehabilitation program.
- o Reserve appropriate and safe transportation from the hospital to the rehabilitation facility.
- o Find out what medical professionals will your family member need to see. Have a clear understanding of who will be making these medical appointments (whether it be you or your rehabilitation staff) and have a plan for transport, should the appointments take place away from the rehabilitation facility.
- o At the end of your loved one’s stay in the rehabilitation program, you may need to set up home care services so your loved one can receive additional assistance in the comfort of their own home. Your rehabilitation provider should be able to help you set up this transition.
Making the Discharge Transition Work
Any reputable rehabilitation program should be happy to assist you in the discharge planning process. At Wesley Place, we know the discharge planning period can be stressful or confusing. If you’re looking for a rehabilitation facility for your loved one in the Chicagoland area, we’d be happy to help you through the discharge process. Give us a call at 773-769-550 for more information about how we can help.