Leaving hospital to return home can bring mixed feelings. It can be a huge relief to get out of hospital, but it can be a bit daunting at the same time.
Discharge planning is about you and your treating team planning for what you will need when you leave hospital. Starting discharge planning as early as possible is important. Good discharge planning will boost your confidence and make sure you are safe and able to continue your recovery at home.
Destinations after your acute care stay in hospital could include:
- Going directly home from the acute stroke unit or medical ward
- Being transferred to a rehabilitation unit
- Going to residential aged care
- Needing palliative care.
If you’re not heading home, your treating team will discuss with you what their recommendations are and how they will assist in arranging further rehabilitation or care.
If you’re heading home, you may need assistance with equipment and home modifications. You may also need community services such as home help, respite or personal care. Follow up may include specialist medical appointments, as well as outpatient, home based or community rehabilitation. Your treating team will organise services and follow up before you go home.
Your discharge plan may be summarised on the My Stroke Care Plan before you go home. A summary should also be prepared for your GP outlining what has happened, the tests that have been completed and any new medication you have been prescribed.
When you leave hospital, not everything goes to plan. Things at home can be different to what you expected, or arranged services may not start when you thought. Make sure that you know who to contact if needed.
You may also be worried about it.
Planning to go home
The people looking after you in hospital will help you get ready to go home.
They will make a care plan for you to take home.
The care plan will help you look after yourself and keep getting better.
The care plan will:
- make sure you feel safe
- make sure your home is set up properly
- arrange people to help you do things like cleaning
What you need at home
The people who make your care plan will help you get ready.
You might need to install some new things in your home.
This could be a grab rail in the shower or next to the toilet.
You may need other things to help you, like a walking frame or wheelchair.
You may also need to have someone to help you at home. Going to appointments
The care plan will also tell you who you need to see.
This might be a special doctor, like a neurologist, who will talk to you about your brain.
Or it could be another person, like a physiotherapist, who can help you get moving again.
When things go wrong
Sometimes, things go wrong. You might need to ask for help.
Make sure you know who to contact.
You care plan will tell you who to call for help.
If you are having another stroke, call 000.