Leaving the hospital after a stroke can be just as terrifying as the day you were admitted. While being discharged may provide some relief, it can also be confusing and overwhelming for patients and their caregivers. Every hospital has its own discharge and assessment process that determines the type of care prescribed once you leave their care. To make the transition easier, it's vital that you and your caregiver be completely involved throughout the process. Here are a few questions to ask before going home after a stroke:
1. Where is the Best Place for Me to Continue My Recovery?
Going home may be a personal preference, but it might not be the best option for people who have suffered a stroke. If your condition is serious, you may need to spend time getting physical therapy and additional care before you go home. It's best to make plans for where you're going before you're discharged to best coordinate your rehabilitation.
2. Will I Need to Take Special Medications Once I'm Home?
Your doctor may prescribe special medications to prevent blood clots or additional strokes once you're released from the hospital. You need to make sure you understand how often these medicines are taken. You'll also want to be aware of any potential side effects.
3. What Warning Signs Should I Be on the Lookout For?
It's not uncommon to have another stroke if you've already experienced one. Consult with your doctor to make sure you know the warning signs of a stroke. There are also other health issues related to strokes you may need to watch out for. Being aware of these warning signs is essential to protect your health.
4. What Types of Therapies Should I Follow Up With?
You may need some additional help recovering after a stroke. Sometimes doctors prescribe speech therapy and physical therapy. In many cases, having a stroke can be mentally taxing. It's not unusual to be referred to a mental health professional for help in dealing with the emotional aftermath of such a disrupting event.
5. When is My Next Doctor Appointment?
You may have several different appointments with different healthcare professionals. These appointments can be hard to keep up with, so you may want to have a nurse print out a schedule for these visits. Give copies to your loved ones so they can help you keep up with these appointments.
6. Should I Purchase Special Braces or Supports?
If you have concerns about being able to access different parts of your house, like a bathroom or stairway, talk about this with your healthcare team. Your health insurance may cover special equipment, braces, and supports to help you retain as much mobility as possible.
7. Do You Have Any Suggestions for Resources for Me?
Your physician or healthcare team may be able to help you with additional resources that could aid in your recovery. Staff may be able to point out needed changes to your health insurance or refer you to local support groups for coping with life after a stroke.
Remember, don't be afraid to ask questions. Your health care providers are there to help you recover. You may find it easier if a loved one helps you make note of any additional questions you have. You may also want to make contact with a hospital social worker who can help you determine the best strategy for your care.
Being there while a loved one is experiencing a stroke can be a terrifying experience, but you can get through it. The most important thing to remember is to get help quickly. Immediate medical care provides the best opportunity for a full recovery.