The transition from hospital to home following a planned surgery is a tenuous time, whether the surgery is for a hip replacement, knee surgery, plastic surgery or for any other reason. It’s difficult to know at what level you will function or how long it will take to recover and return to normal activities, so it’s important to plan ahead, before your scheduled surgery date, and consider what you’ll need to make life easier once you’re home, and what will add to a speedier recovery.
Many people assume that their doctors or hospital discharge planners will tell them everything they need to know about how to care for themselves at home. Unfortunately, that isn’t usually the case. Prepare yourself for a smooth transition from hospital to home by getting answers to these questions prior to your surgery:
- Who will pick up my prescriptions? Will I need to rely on a relative for this task? Will he or she be available when I need a refill?
- Who will answer questions I may have about the medications? Should I contact my doctor, the pharmacist, or does the hospital have someone else for me to contact with questions regarding my care?
- What phone numbers do I need to have on hand?
- What kind of medical equipment might I need (such as a walker, crutches, or telehealth devices), and who will provide them?
- What kinds of tasks might be difficult for me perform once I return home given the nature of my surgery? (Ex. bathing, dressing, climbing stairs, picking up prescription drugs, cooking, shopping, driving, etc.)
- What activities are not recommended following surgery? How long should I abstain from these activities?
- What signs or symptoms should I watch for that might indicate a problem during recovery?
- Do I need someone present in the home, or will I be safe left alone for extended time periods?
- Will my medications cause drowsiness or confusion?
Another very important question to ask is: Who will help get you settled in at home? A qualified agency, like North Home Healthcare, can provide the home healthcare services you need to get settled at home following a planned surgery or an unexpected hospitalization.
When you or a loved one has a scheduled surgery or an unscheduled hospitalization, don’t leave recovery up in the air. Plan for a smooth recovery at home by contacting North Home Healthcare of Houston, Texas before being discharged. Our caregivers will work with your care team and develop a plan of care that will meet your unique needs. Contact us to learn more about our transitional care services.