Leaving hospital after any length of stay can be daunting, particularly if you have pain or limited mobility.

It is important to plan for your discharge so that your transition from hospital to home, or to another health facility, is seamless and safe.

This animation shows you five things that you can do.

Acknowledgements

Video 2018 © Copyright Healthily Pty Ltd

Preparing to leave hospital

Leaving hospital after any length of stay can be daunting, particularly if you have pain or limited mobility.

Planning ahead can make your transition from hospital seamless and safe.

Here are five things you can do:

1. Talk to your doctor.

Before you go to hospital ask your doctor what to expect during your recovery and what type of support you might need once you get home. Ask when you will be able to drive or return to work, and how to access any special services you may need. If you have a planned admission consider making a GP appointment in advance. It can be difficult to see a GP at short notice once you are discharged from hospital.

2. Arrange transport.

After your hospital stay, you are likely to have pain and some restricted mobility.

So as well as arranging someone to take you home from hospital ask family and friends if they can help you get around to your appointments until you can drive.

If you don't have family or someone to support you ask your GP or nurse about options in your area.

3. Set up your house.

In the early stages of recovery you may need to make some temporary changes to your home such as changing where you sleep or organising a shower chair. So set things up for yourself in advance.

Ask a friend or family member to come and stay with you. This is a great way to help you get back to your normal activities safely.

4. Prepare your meals.

Use the time before you go into hospital to stock up the pantry and fill your freezer with nutritious and easy to re-heat meals.

This will help you get the nutrients you need to heal and recover. There are also meal providers available who can do fresh and frozen meal delivery to match your budget and food preferences. Ask your GP or nurse about who can help you with delivered meals in your area.

5. Get a discharge plan.

Before you leave hospital make sure you have your discharge plan. A discharge plan is written information about managing your medications, any special exercise you need to do, accessing home care or community care services, looking after your wound and when to see the doctor or another health professional. Be sure to ask for clarification if there is anything you don't understand.

So to manage your return home from hospital remember to:

  • Talk to your doctor
  • Arrange transport
  • Set up your house
  • Prepare your meals
  • Get a copy of your discharge instructions in writing.

Planning ahead and being informed can make all the difference to a safe and speedy recovery.

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This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Healthily

Last updated: June 2018

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