Auburn, NH Blog

Visiting Angels NH Provides a Helpful Guide to Discharge Planning

The transition from a hospital, skilled nursing home, or rehabilitation facility back to home can be challenging and stressful. There are many critical logistics to line up ahead of time. This guide can help ease the process and may lead to fewer unnecessary re-hospitalizations and a reduced rate of re-injury.

Before you go home, consider several general questions:

  • Do you know about any medical problems, such as possible infections or complications?
  • Have you fully informed your caregiver about them so they know to watch for them?
  • Are you aware of what after care will be needed in case you are unable to do this for yourself?
  • Will a family member, friend, or hired caregiver be helping you after you are discharged?
  • Do you know their availability and what schedule they can commit to?

In addition, depending on your current status, Visiting Angels NH suggests that you consider a few other questions:

Medication:

  • Does anyone besides yourself know where your medication is located?
  • Can you select the right medication in the right dosage?
  • Have you fully informed your caregiver about your medication as a backup to yourself?
  • Do you have someone who can help you fill your prescriptions?

Personal Care:

  • Will you be able to shower and/or use the bathroom or your own?
  • Will you need assistance with your personal care to be safe from injury?

Meals:

  • Will you be able to prepare meals on your own?
  • Have you asked your doctor about diet restrictions?
  • Do you have someone to shop for food, prepare meals, and help with housekeeping while you recover?

Equipment:

  • Will you need special equipment, like a hospital bed, walker, or wheelchair?
  • Is there someone who can arrange to have this equipment delivered to you?
  • Do you have the necessary safety equipment set up or installed at home such as grab bars, a tub bench, a raised toilet seat or a 3-in-1 commode?
  • If you go home in a wheelchair, do you have handicap access?
  • Will you be able to use stairs if needed?

Emergencies:

  • If you live alone, do you have a personal emergency response system in place?
  • If not, can you get to a phone in an emergency?

Transportation:

  • Will you be able to drive?
  • If not, do you have someone available to transport you home and then as the days follow to physical therapy, medical appointments, and errands?

If you answered "no" to some of these questions, you may want to consider home care and investigate what what options are available to you. If you are considering hiring assistance, Visiting Angels NH has some helpful tips on what to look for in a quality home care agency.

  • Are they owned and operated by licensed professionals who fully understand your needs?
  • How long have they been in business?
  • Are they licensed, bonded, and insured?
  • Do they hire only experienced caregivers?
  • Are their caregivers employed or subcontracted by them?
  • Are they paid "under the table"?
  • Is there an extensive reference and background check conducted on new caregivers?
  • Do they continuously and systematically monitor their caregivers?
  • Do they provide supplemental care in skilled nursing or assisted living facilities?
  • Do they offer a full line of services, such as hygiene assistance, meal preparation, diet and hydration monitoring, light housekeeping, transportation to appointments, errands and shopping, and joyful companionship?
  • Are their services customizable in terms of schedule and services to best fit your particular needs?
  • Does the agency provide 24/7/365 access to a case manager in case of emergencies?

This information is provided as a community service by Visiting Angels of Auburn NH. For more information, please visit Visiting Angels NH or call 603-483-8999. Visiting Angels was awarded the "HomeCare Pulse Best of Homecare Award" in 2012 and 2013. 

Each Visiting Angels agency is a franchise that is independently owned and operated. The Franchisor, Living Assistance Services Inc., does not control or manage the day to day business operations of any Visiting Angels franchised agency.