Who is Responsible?

Recently suffer from a fall, injury or some other medical malfunction that landed you in the hospital followed by a stay in a rehabilitation facility? Are you or your loved one getting ready to make that leap back into the independent living scene?

Making a successful transition is not only the responsibility of the medical staff, but caregivers and the patient, as well. Look over this checklist so that the necessary home modifications can be made prior to the patient returning home enabling them to into a safe and protective environment.

  • Set Goals—Establish and set goals for this transition, and if possible, do this prior to returning to the home environment. This can include the patient's desire to do certain things or the caregiver's request for acquiescence on the patient's part, if needed. Communicate clearly—a successful transition not only means communicating openly and succinctly but to determine what the needs and expectations will be to ease the patient back into normal daily living.
  • Prepare the Home—It is important, if not critical, to be sure the home is properly equipped with the needed mobility aids. Considering the requirements of the patient—have they recently had knee replacement or hip replacement and need assistance in moving around the home? Maybe some type of walking aid, such as a walker or crutches, standing or sitting devices or even devices that help with transitioning into the shower or onto the toilet. Don't forget about grab bars in the bathrooms; someone who is still in the rehabilitation phase of their recovery usually has some type of difficulty with range of motion and agility.
  • Detect Depression—The patient may become depressed because they may begin to feel isolated; they are unable to move around and be autonomous as they once were (even if it is just a short term rehab). It can be particularly difficult during the holiday season when they may not be able to attend and participate in the activities they are accustomed to.
  • Medication Management—This is especially important if the patient is elderly; be sure to set a reminder so that the medication is properly dispensed.
  • ICE - In Case of Emergency—Always have an emergency plan in place. Who is the first line of contact if there is an emergency? Be sure the ICE person you choose is good about answering their phone. Try to not select someone who has difficulty getting to the phone due to their work or other obligations.

© Copyright 2017 The Wright Stuff, Inc. Articles may only be redistributed in its unedited form. Written permission from The Wright Stuff, Inc. must be obtained to reprint or cite the information contained within this article.