Caregiving, Hospitals, and Rehab

If your loved one is spending time in a hospital or rehabilitation facility, your role as a caregiver becomes that much more important.

It’s common to equate “caregiving” with in-home care, but if your loved one is spending time in a hospital or rehabilitation facility, there are many tasks that you, as a caregiver, may need to perform.

While your loved one’s daily care needs will, of course, be met by the facility’s staff, your loved one will probably have to rely on you to take care of any personal chores that he or she is unable to complete. You will also want to monitor your loved one’s situation to ensure that he or she is receiving the best possible care, and continually remain in touch with doctors and nurses to make sure that both you and your loved one understand his or her condition and treatment.

Below are some suggestions of things you can do to help your loved one while he or she is in a hospital or rehabilitation facility.

  • Attend to financial aspects related to your loved one’s care and keep him or her updated on account information and bill payments.
  • Prepare your loved one’s home environment for his or her return. If necessary, modify the living area to accommodate your loved one’s medical needs, arrange for needed mobility devices, or reserve the transportation services your loved one will need while recuperating.
  • Talk to the facility’s discharge planner to find out if there are any other special accommodations or services that your loved one will require after he or she leaves the facility.
  • Get to know the staff at the facility and let them know that you want to be informed if your loved one’s condition changes.
  • Learn about your loved one’s medical condition by talking with doctors, nurses, and staff.
  • Be aware of the daily treatment your loved one receives and, if needed, intervene to prevent abuse or fraud.
  • Visit your loved one as frequently as possible.
  • If possible, ask your loved one if there are any personal chores that you can do (e.g., mow the lawn).
  • Encourage other family and friends to visit your loved one.
  • Send your loved one pictures of family members and friends.
  • Call your loved one frequently and encourage others to do so.
  • Contact a local animal therapy program and have them bring a dog or cat to visit your loved one (Be sure to check the facility’s policies before doing so).

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