Questions to ask before you are discharged  from hospital

Do you know how to ensure that you or your loved one succeed after being discharged from hospital?

Hospitals are never anyone’s favourite place to stay, let alone after major surgery when we are just itching to get home to our own bed! However, after returning home anticipation soon wears away and we realise that there may have been things we did not anticipate. You may not have thought to plan ahead or asked the questions you wanted to upon being discharged - hindsight is a wonderful thing isn’t it!

In order to assist with planning for leaving the hospital after surgery, we have put together a list of things you need to consider to aid in your recovery. Check them out below:

1. Understand the discharge plan.​ If you are to be discharged from the hospital after a major surgery it is important that you read and fully understand the discharge plan that has been given to you. If you are still feeling groggy from the surgery, ensure that you have another family member or friend read over it on your behalf so you can understand what is required when you are back home.

2. Diet restrictions.​ Write a list of all the dietary restrictions you are to follow once you are at home. It is important to stick to these restrictions because they will help you in the recovery process. If you have someone who will be doing the shopping or preparing meals for you, you need to be able to give them a clear list to follow.

We know sometimes the restricted foods are your favourites, but just think about what you have gone through and how quickly you would like to get back to enjoying life to the fullest!

3. Activity Restrictions.​ Ensure you have a full understanding of your activity restrictions. If you are not to drive for 8 weeks or lift anything over 5kg, you need to stick to these restrictions as it will aid in the recovery process. Remember there is no point pushing your limits too soon as it will increase your risk for trips, falls or injury which could lead to readmission in hospital.

4. Body Movements.​ When you are in hospital and spend a day in bed, it requires a minimum of three days for each day in bed to regain the level of endurance that you had before hospitalisation. If you have anticipated to be back in full action straight after your surgery, you might want to reconsider and anticipate that you will be moving a little slower than usual so normal tasks may not be possible for the first few days or weeks. Listen to your body and take it day by day.

5. Home environment.​ If you have family, friends or carers available to help you before you leave the hospital it is always good to ask if they could complete the jobs you may have left around the home before being admitted. Odd jobs around the home aren’t exciting at the best of times, but they certainly will be the last thing you’ll want to do when you get home from the hospital. This includes things like making sure your laundry is completed, the dishes are washed up, food in the house is in date and that you have ready-to-eat food prepared for your return (ensuring it is food you will be allowed to eat after your surgery).

6. Consider help. ​If you need help with managing your daily life activity once at home recovering, consider investing in home assistance. The team at Senior Helpers are more than happy to assist you with shopping, meal planning, helping with your stretches, bathing, driving to appointments and much much more.

To discover more about the services, see here https://seniorhelpers.com.au/personal-care/​
The most important thing to remember is that you can never be too organised or ask too many questions before you are discharged from hospital!