by Dr. Jacqueline Dupont
We are so relieved when we learn that our loved ones will be discharged from the hospital or a skilled nursing facility! And in our haste to get them home, it’s easy to overlook important details the discharge planner and/or care team should review with
Here is a checklist to use to prepare for hospital discharge and before bringing your loved one home:
- Will your loved one need physical therapy once at home? Is it already arranged?
- Will there be a need for short or long-term in-home caregivers?
- Will a wheelchair, hospital bed, walker, shower chair and/or commode be needed? Has it been provided or already ordered by the facility? When will it be delivered at home?
- Will there be special transportation needs or will your loved one be able to be taken places in your own car?
- Is a special diet required and for how long? For example: pureed foods, low sugar, high fiber? Should you consult with a nutritionist? Does their refrigerator and
pantry need filling up before they arrive home?
- Have they made a follow-up appointment with your loved one’s regular doctor(s) or do you need to do so and when?
- Be sure you are given a current medication list and the medications themselves for a period of time until you can get them refilled.
- Be given copies of the most recent laboratory test results and/or x-rays.
- Get written instructions for follow up blood tests or other tests to be scheduled, including when.
- Be sure all infections (including urinary tract infections) are ruled out prior to release.
- Be offered a list of community resources, including support groups, in your local area that can address future questions or concerns that may arise for you, your
family and/or loved one.