Q. It’s time for me to leave the hospital. What do I need to know now?
A hospital discharge planner will help you prepare for your discharge. This process can take from a few hours to several days, depending on the nature of your condition and your personal situation. It is best for family members and others who will care for you after hospitalization to be involved in this planning.
The main issues you should be concerned about include the following:
•Your ability to perform daily activities after discharge from the hospital.
Who will assist you on a day-to-day basis. If your doctor says he is ordering a home health nurse for you, be aware that the nurse will check your vital signs, examine and dress your incision if you have one, and perhaps give you a sponge bath. You still will need a family member or friend to fix your meals, perhaps assist you in getting to the bathroom and care for your other needs. If you do not have someone to do these things for you, you will probably need to hire a home care aid. Medicare does not pay for an aide; it does pay for a home health nurse.