Hospital Discharge Safety Tips to Help You Stay Safe at Home
At the time of the hospital discharge, you are often in a hurry to get back home after a medical procedure or illness. However, it is essential to take some necessary steps to ensure your safety and the safety of others at home. Here are some discharge tips that will help you stay safe at home:
Understand the Discharge InstructionsBefore leaving the hospital, make sure you or your caregiver fully understand the discharge instructions. Ask questions if you're unsure of any of the instructions. Discuss your current medications at home and the medications listed on the discharge paperwork with your discharge provider. It is important to know the medications you need to take once you get home and their schedule. Make sure you have a good understanding of any potential side effects and what to do if you experience them.
Arrange for TransportationAsk a friend or family member to help you get home safely or arrange for transportation. Consider using a medical transport service if you need additional assistance. Typically, the discharge planner or social worker at the hospital will help facilitate the transportation method that is appropriate for your needs.
Plan for Follow-up CareUnderstand the necessary follow-up care and appointments required with your health care provider. Upon discharge, arrangements may need to be made for the delivery of medical devices or equipment you may need to use at home. Any equipment provided by Lincare will provide 24/7 customer service and ongoing support.
Prepare Your HomeIf your hospital stay is planned, prepare your home in advance, keeping in mind any restrictions/limitations you may be given. If your hospital stay was unplanned, have family or caregivers prepare your home for your return. You want to ensure your home is prepared before you arrive to make sure it is a safe, comfortable, and easy-to-navigate environment for recovery. Taking certain precautions and making necessary modifications can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and promote a smooth transition back to your regular routine.
Fall Prevention Throughout Your Home:
- Clear cords
- Clear clutter
- Ensure proper lighting
- Make sure you have access to a telephone
- Install night lights in bedrooms, bathrooms, stairs, and hallways
- Keep a list of emergency contact numbers, including your doctor and nearby emergency services
- Prepare a first aid kit
- Consider using a medical alert service if necessary
- Add adaptive equipment like bath rails, raised toilet seats, transfer benches, or shower chairs to help with mobility limitations
- Install a hand-held showerhead
- Be sure to keep toiletries and frequently used items in an accessible location
- Always drain your water, don’t allow it to build up
- Fall-proof bathmats
- Safety treads for shower floor
- Install night light