What to expect when going home with services

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By Amanda Priest, Physical Therapist, Home Care Solutions

You are being discharged from a health care facility -maybe you have had hip replacement surgery, pneumonia, a fall – every person’s situation is different, but the bottom line is you need help in order to go home. This can be a very difficult part of the healing process for many people.  Although we are health care professionals, we are still initially strangers to you, and welcoming us into your home can be an intimidating task.  We hope to earn your trust and respect while we are assisting in your transition back to independence.

What to expect when going home with care.

Before you are discharged from a health care facility they will often times have family meetings or discharge planning meetings. These meetings are meant to build a comprehensive discharge plan so that your needs are met at home. There is so much that people should know and it can be overwhelming, especially when you are in the middle of a health crisis. We are going to look at an average case referred to home care.

Doris is being discharged from a skilled nursing facility; she has been there for short term rehab after her hip replacement surgery.  Doris has been out of her home for three weeks now.  She is very anxious about returning to her house alone and is not sure what to expect.  As a community liaison for Care Solutions home care, I meet Doris before she is discharged from the skilled nursing facility.  We sit down and review what her concerns are:  Who will come to my house?  When will they come?  Will they call first?  How long will they be there?  Who pays for them?  How do they know what to do for me?

We break down each question. The morning after you are discharged, you will receive a telephone call from your homecare nurse to introduce themselves and schedule your visit for that day.  Medicare allows for patients to be admitted 24 to 48 hours after discharge from a health care facility.  Most agencies admit patients within the first 24 hours, as this enables the patient’s unexpected needs to be addressed immediately.  As a home health provider it is our responsibility to put your concerns to rest and help you attain your maximum level of independence.

Be prepared for the first visit to be lengthy, as this assessment visit will devise a personal care plan for you and address all of your needs.  Make sure that you are open with your nurse and therapists, we are there to make sure that you are getting as much support as you need. If you have questions ask them or if you think of questions after the nurse leaves, do not hesitate to call.  All of these people will call your community physician and obtain orders for your care.  It is our job to communicate with your doctor and make sure that you are progressing and following his or her treatment plan.  There is no set time as to how long your services will last – it could be a few weeks to a few months.  All of this will be discussed with you.

For more information call Home Care Solutions, Inc., at 508-366-1766.