Supporting a family member after a hospital discharge
Being discharged from hospital can bring a sense of relief, but it can also be a stressful time, for both the patient and their family members. Here are some things you should consider if you have an elderly family member that is being discharged from hospital:
What happens at the point of discharge?
When your loved one is leaving the hospital, they should receive a discharge notice which states the treatment they have had during their time in hospital, and what ongoing care they will need once they are at home. A copy should also be sent to the patient’s GP so that there is full transparency regarding care needs.
What do you need to consider once your relative is at home?
Your relative may have minimal care needs post-discharge or they may need more complex care. This means they may have ongoing care needs that need to be implemented as soon as possible.
Before leaving hospital, it’s useful to put together a list of everything that your family member will need once they are at home. This could be a list of medication that they need to take or other home essentials that will help them on the road to recovery and make the transition from hospital to home much easier.
You may be able to stay with them or visit them regularly to ensure they are taken care of in case any problems arise. If this isn’t convenient due to work or family commitments, then you may wish to consider a visit from a caregiver who can help to support your family member.
A caregiver can help to collect prescriptions and assist with medication. During convalescence it’s easy for household tasks to build up; the caregiver can help with light housework such as changing beds and washing clothes. They can also help to provide nutritious meals that align with your loved one’s health needs.