Preparation is the key to a fast, easy transition back to ‘normal’ life after hospitalization. Recuperation can be a frustrating time, for the patient, the family, and others in the support system. Professional, private duty home care can speed recovery after surgery, the birth of your baby, or an acute illness such as pneumonia.
Your planning and organizing should include researching quality home care.
Much stress can be eliminated with professional assessment of those small roadblocks to recovery.
Coming home is a major step in recuperation. Written instructions should be given to you on discharge from the hospital. Home care after surgery generally requires dietary restrictions, extra rest, and limitations to physical activities. Childbirth requires care for your infant, answers to those questions new parents have, changes in the household routine, and additional work – just when you don’t have that extra energy. Do not expect to jump right back into your life.
You may prepare for this major transition:
- You may be unsteady on return, or using a walker or crutches. Do a walk-through with this in mind. Pack away throw rugs and small items from the floor. Tape down electrical cords.
- Prepare a bedroom downstairs. Include a table, phone, TV (and remote control), reading materials or crafts, glasses, medications, water pitcher, and drinking glass.
- For the new baby, set up a changing station next to your new downstairs bed.
- Keep a scrub-jacket with large pockets available for hands-free carrying.
- Check your bathroom for safety features. Do you need to install handrails, grab-bars, or toilet seat riser? Will you require a shower bench?
- Contact a transitional care facility and discuss what options are available to you. Whether you need a few weeks of help, or a couple of hours per day for the first week, professional healthcare providers can ensure the coordination and continuity of your care.
- Think ahead; be ready for offers of help. Laundry, meals, grocery shopping can be planned in advance to a degree, but you will need help.
- If you have children, plan ahead for them also. Prepare a small daily ‘activity packet’.
There is nothing like TLC and Home Care to speed recovery. Some foresight, preparation, and professional transitional care can make this a stress-free recovery for you.
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