Part of what I do is help people make transitions from care facilities as smooth as possible. One would hope the system itself would ensure this happens - but very often, this is simply not the case. Here are my 5 tips:
Tip #1 - Stay Connected!
It's really common when we're not at our best, like during a hospital stay, to not want lots of people around. However - research has shown that both physical and mental decline are common side effects of a lengthy hospital stay. So to help avoid getting the blues, instead of withdrawing from everyone, try and keep in touch with your friends and family. This can be as simple as a phone call, a text, an email or even through social media. Now I'm not usually one to promote the use of social media, but in this case, it could actually improve your strength and ensure your success in having a quicker recuperation. So, stay - in - touch!
Tip #2 - Before you go home, make sure you have a plan!
Want to hear a sad fact? Almost 20% of Medicare patients are readmitted to the hospital after 30 days, according to the National Institutes of Health.
One way to help avoid this- and to ensure that once you're released, your recuperation is only positive- is to ensure that BEFORE you leave, you check in with your medical team and make sure there's a written plan in place for what to do in the first hours, then the first days and then the following weeks once you've been discharged. Equally important is to make sure you review the plan with your medical team, to make sure you understand what is expected.
Consider having someone with you when reviewing your plan so you have a second set of ears taking in the specific instructions including medications schedules, wound care and even limitations of movement. Following these instructions is important for a successful recovery. So - BEFORE YOU GO HOME - MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A PLAN!