4 Tips for a Smooth Return After a Hospital Stay

Oct 27, 2016
Stephen Bleeker

Is it time for Mom or Dad to return home from the hospital? While it’s good news that they are well enough to return home, there are some steps that need to be taken to ensure that their return home is comfortable and that they can continue their recovery in a safe environment. Here are four tips for a smooth return home following a stay in hospital:

Planning Your Discharge

Make the discharge process easy by planning ahead. You will usually have some notice from the care team that your parent is ready to return home, so use that time to plan for their return home. Will you be driving Mom home from the hospital? If you are unable to assist Mom into or out of the car, you may wish to arrange patient transportation or book a disability taxi. If rehabilitation is to continue at home, you will need to arrange these services.

Readying Your Home

Will Mom be returning to her home, or staying with you temporarily? Are there any mobility limitations to prepare for? Whether temporary or permanent, Mom may have mobility limitations that you need to account for. You can rent home medical equipment such as a wheelchair, walker, raised toilet seat, shower grab bars etc. to make the home safer and more comfortable as your parent recovers. You can also make small changes at home, such as temporarily relocating Mom’s bedroom to the living room until she recovers.

Give Time to Adjust

Mom has been discharged from the hospital, but that doesn’t mean that she is back to full health. There will still be a recovery period following discharge, maybe days, maybe months. Going from 24/7 care in the hospital to home can be a stressful, frightening transition for Mom and family alike. Mom may be in pain; she may be scared; she may be fatigued. Even simple activities like getting out of bed can be exhausting. Provide the support and care she needs to recover physically and psychologically.

Take Time for Yourself

It is not easy to be the adult child of a parent returning from a hospital stay. There’s the sadness and uncertainty of the event that put them in the hospital in the first place, the chaos and exhaustion of their time in the hospital, and the stress of their return home. Be there for Mom, but take time for yourself as well. You don’t have to do it alone – there is a network of support workers, whether it is the hospital-provided care coordinator or an in-home caregiver you hire to provide assistance to the family.

The professional team at Assurance Home Care helps families through the Ottawa area through tough moments like these on a daily basis. Find out how we can help ease the transition from a hospital stay and assist as your parent returns to full health.

  • Stephen Bleeker