You are likely excited about going home after being in the hospital, skilled nursing center, or rehabilitation facility.
You should probably be able to go home once you are able to:
Going home does not mean you no longer need medical care. You may need help:
Also, you may still need help taking care of yourself at home. Common needs include help with:
While you may have family and friends to help, they must be able to do all the tasks and provide all the help you need to ensure you have a quick and safe recovery.
If not, talk to the hospital social worker or discharge nurse about getting help in your home. They may be able to have someone come to your home and determine what help you may need.
Besides family members and friends, many different types of care providers can come into your home to help with movement and exercises, wound care, and daily living.
Home health care nurses can help manage problems with your wound, other medical problems, and any medications that you may be taking.
Physical and occupational therapists can make sure your home is set up so that it will be easy and safe to move around and take care of yourself. They may also help with exercises when you first get home.
You will need a referral from your doctor to have these providers visit your home. Your health insurance will often pay for these visits if you have a referral. But you should still make sure it is covered.
Other types of assistance are available for tasks or issues that do not require the medical knowledge of nurses and therapists. Names of some of these professionals include:
Sometimes, insurance will pay for visits from these professionals, as well.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Home health care: what it is and what to expect. http://www.medicare.gov/what-medicare-covers/home-health-care/home-health-care-what-is-it-what-to-expect.html. Accessed on May 11, 2014.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Medicare and home health care. http://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/10969.pdf. Accessed on May 11, 2014.
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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