How To Regain Your Independence Following A Hospital Stay

Hospital stays can cause physical and mental decline, especially in older patients. Infections and illnesses following a stint in the hospital are common, as are instances of reinjury and a general lack of independence. Even with a relatively short hospital stay, it will take time and patience to regain stamina, health and a sense of well-being. Here are some things you can do to ease the transition from hospital stay to independent living.

Have An Advocate
During and after your hospital stay, make sure that you have an advocate, a friend or family member whom you trust, who understands your treatment and recovery plans. The advocate should be someone who can also speak with your doctors on your behalf, be on hand to hear the discharge instructions and ask follow-up questions that you may not have considered. This role is especially important for times when you may be physically unable to communicate.

Keep Discharge Instructions Handy
After your hospital stay, be sure you have ready access to your post-surgical or hospital discharge instructions. Your doctors will provide specific instructions for your physical recovery that may include details about diet, medications and constraints. It’s important to follow these instructions closely. If you are given a nurse’s station phone number for follow-up questions, add it to your speed dial and be sure your advocate is aware of the number.

Plan For Changes With Medications
After a hospitalization, your may have new medications added, existing dosages or schedules modified, or both. Be sure to get very specific instructions on how and when each medication must be taken and what side effects to look out for. Also, plan to have help with getting your prescriptions filled and ready for you when you are discharged.

Prep Your Bathroom In Advance
After a hospital stay, some of the practicalities of daily life may be a little difficult. Make sure that your bathroom can accommodate your special circumstances. For some patients, a special toilet seat may be helpful. A shower seat and a grab bar is also very useful for ensuring safe entry and exit from the shower. It may also help to speak with someone who has been through the same procedure and to work closely with your health care practitioner to assess any other changes you may need to make in order to manage daily tasks.

Prevent Potential Falls
A slip or fall could land you right back in the hospital, so it’s very important to avoid an accident. Remove all throw rugs and any other tripping hazards such as electrical cords, magazine racks or small footstools. Move everyday items that you use frequently to a lower shelf or a more accessible spot, and keep rooms well-lit. Also, consider boarding pets or sending them to a friend’s home temporarily.

Consider A Restorative Stay
Returning home after a medical procedure or surgery can be very challenging. You’ll recover faster with extra support. If you can’t yet prepare meals, manage your medications, do your own laundry, negotiate stairs or bathe or dress without assistance, then you need extra support. A Restorative Stay can help ensure that you recuperate fully and regain strength before heading home. Recuperating at Kyffin Grove with a Restorative Stay means having someone else take care of details like food preparation and doctors appointments while you fully concentrate on your recovery. Learn more about how we can help you regain your independence and fully recover at cost that is comparable to a hotel stay.