Today the physician has decided to discharge your love one from the hospital or rehab to home.
Most people who are not in the healthcare field get a little scared when they are responsible caring for a loved one. My name is Debbie, I have been a discharge planner/ social worker for more than 30 years. I’ve put together a list of common questions you with some answers. As always, ask the your doctor. The physician should be open to the questions you have, although common. He/she may answer them before you ask, but have a list of questions ready just in case.
Q: What are the physical limitations?
A: Wheelchair, walker, cane
Q Do they need oxygen and how can I provide that?
A: The doctor will write an order for the oxygen.
There is a machine that can provide oxygen. A concentrator can provide all the oxygen is needed in the home.
Q: What type of bed or mattress the person may need?
A: Hospital bed and mattress can be rented to be used at home. Give us a call, we can help.
Q: How will I be able to toilet this person and what equipment will I need for this?
A: A commode is a toilet that can be placed by someone’s bed.
Q: How will I be able to lift the person from the bed to the commode or to a wheelchair?
A: A Hoyer Lift is a piece of equipment that can assist you in lifting a person out of bed.
Q: How about there diet?
A: The physician will give you a diet if needed. For example soft food or ground food. This will be determined by the physician or by a dietitian. Whatever it is, be sure to stick to it. Diets can often trigger other issues.
Q: The person may need to see the doctor after getting home how can I get them there?
A: There are transportation services for seniors you can call on with the necessary equipment to transport safely.
Q: Is home care by a professional available if needed such as a Nurse?
A: The doctor will determine if a nurse should see them at home and there are agencies that can provide nursing care. Here’s a site to help you find resources.
Q: Will I be sent home with all the medication that is needed?
A: Your physician will write out orders and scripts that you will need to administer. Before you leave the facility make sure you are clear on how to administer the medicine.
Q: Will there be someone I can call if not sure of some of these things that I am asking?
A: ALWAYS call your doctor or if there is a nursing agency, involved you can call them.