When is it Time to Find Help?...Hospitalization.

When care responsibilities come unexpectedly as a result of hospitalization, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Suddenly, all you have are questions with no easy answers. The following tips can help guide you through hospital stays and discharge.

  • Use the hospitalization time to formulate your plan of action following discharge.
  • Depending on the reason for hospitalization, your care recipient may be able to return to their own home or may require a nursing home stay for short-term rehab.
  • Locate the hospital social worker assigned to your family member in order to discuss the hospital's discharge plan as soon as possible.
  • If a return home is likely, it is very important to work with the hospital social worker to identify what community supports will be needed to ensure that your family member is safe and well cared for.
  • If returning home is not possible, talk to the social worker about other residential options such as assisted living or nursing homes.
  • Contact friends, neighbors, and other supports in your family member's neighborhood to determine how they can be of help. This may include stopping in every day for a few minutes, making a friendly phone call, etc.
  • Speak with all the people involved in your family member's care in the hospital. That means not only the doctor, but also the nurses, the personal care aides, and therapists, if appropriate.