You have had a serious illness and have been in the hospital for quite some time; now it’s time for you to be discharged. You’re nervous, a little worried; even a little scared. You don’t want to end up back in the hospital again. What can you do to help prevent that from happening?
Asking the right questions
Questions you should ask yourself and which are important that you know the answers to are the following:
- What is the prognosis for my illness and when should I start feeling better?
- Do I have dietary restrictions? If I do, do I feel well enough to prepare the food or shop for groceries? – If not, you may need someone to stay with you until you get your strength back and feel capable to handle these chores.
- What medication do I need? – You also have to consider if you understand the dosage instructions if the medication is a new prescription. Are there side effects you aren’t aware of? Can you open the bottles? Are you able to organize your medication in a pill box or will you need help with it? Ask a family member or caretaker to manage your pill box until you feel capable of doing so if you feel you’re going to have an issue with this.
- When is my follow up appointment with my doctor? – Be sure you have all your medical appointments written down, as well as phone numbers. Will you be able to drive yourself or will you need transportation and assistance getting in and out of the car? If you will need assistance, make the arrangements punctually beforehand.
- If I have reoccurring symptoms, which one would I call the doctor for? – If you know the warning signs, will you be able to get help yourself or do you need assistance?
- Will I need help with normal housekeeping activities during recovery? – If you do need help, ask social services through the hospital what help they can give you or you are eligible for.
Going home is just the start of your recovery. You have to be honest with yourself and figure out if you will need help until you recover fully. There are many health care and home care services which can help speed your recovery. They can be there to help with household chores, making sure you take your medication on time and transportation to and from doctor visits. They monitor you for signs of any relapse in your health and watch for adverse symptoms. The key is to realize whether you need the help. Being independent is great but not at the expense of your health. If in home care services can help prevent a reoccurrence or help you stay out of the hospital, then you should look into getting help as soon as you can.
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