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Have you reviewed your post-discharge care instructions? Are you watching for warning signs that could mean you need medical attention? Do you know who to call with questions and concerns?
Make a list to help you remember things you need to take care of while you recover, like:
Survey your home for safety hazards that could derail your recovery. Pay attention to things that can boost your risk for a nasty fall. Move electrical cords and throw rugs out of the way. Make sure small pets don’t get underfoot and trip you up. Add grab bars near the tub and toilet, and consider a shower seat. Place a night light in the bathroom to make it easier to see. Finally, think about any assistance you may need with daily cooking, bathing, dressing and grooming. Ask for help if you need it.
“It’s so important to be aware of your emotional health after a hospital stay,” says Blair Bisbee, a licensed clinical social worker who helps members with their transition from hospital to home after discharge. “Many times, receiving a new diagnosis can cause sadness, depression or anxiety.”
Individuals with congestive heart failure, cancer or other major health concerns often experience those feelings. Ask your doctor for help. They may refer you to a local chapters of the American Heart Association or American Cancer Society that offer resources for patients and caregivers.
Bisbee shares several tips to help members stay positive after a hospital stay, including:
The Family Caregiver Alliance offers tips for caregivers and patients to ease the shift from hospital to home.
Many communities have a wide range of resources, including support groups for caregivers and families helping someone with an illness.
Originally published 7/17/2019; Revised 2021
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Last Updated 10012018Y0096_WEB_OK_CONNECT19_C