Transitioning Home from Rehab

Having a loved one in rehab can be stressful, so when they are cleared for discharge home, it can be a relief.  However, going can come with its share of challenges.  You want to make sure your loved one received the best care possible to avoid readmission and has everything they need to thrive.

What Should you Ask?

Before your loved one leaves rehab, read their discharge papers carefully and ask any questions you may have.  Make sure you understand their diagnosis, recovery, and any complications to be alert for.  Ask about any prescriptions and exactly how and when they should be taken.

Talk About their limitations and abilities as well.  Are they able to get up and move about a lot? Are there restrictions on how much they can lift or time spent on their feet?  These are all things to consider as you prepare their home for their return.  You may have to make adjustments or rent/buy special equipment to aid their recovery.

Preparing Their Home

If you know ahead of time about modifications your elderly parent will need, such as a special bed or wheelchair, a shower chair, or grab bars, you should make the changes before they come home.  Once they are home, pay attention to activities they may struggle with.  Take up any rugs they may trip over and move cords out of the way.  Put commonly used items in close reach so they don’t have to bend or stretch to get them.

Having home health or hospice to assist with tasks around the home and provide support and companionship may be necessary upon discharge.  They can help with continues nursing care once home to prevent readmission.  This can take some stress off of your senior and allow them to focus on their recovery.

Things to Remember

Remember that your loved on just came home form rehab.  It may take them some time to adjust and recover.  They may not be up to full strength yet.  Remind them to take it easy and follow the doctor’s orders.  Overexerting themselves can increase risk of readmission.

Their recovery may also come with lifestyle changes.  They may not be able to do or eat everything they used to before they were in the hospital. Try to keep a positive attitude and be encouraging and supportive.  Change can be tough, especially for seniors who are set in their ways.  Make sure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals.