You and your caregiver can use this checklist to prepare for discharge:
- Ask where you’ll get care after you leave (after you’re discharged). Do you have options (like home health care)? Be sure you tell the staff what you prefer.
- If a caregiver will be helping you after discharge, write down their name and phone number.
- Ask the staff about your health condition and what you can do to help yourself get better.
- Ask about problems to watch for and what to do about them. Write down a name and phone number of a person to call if you have problems.
- Ask if you’ll need medical equipment (like a walker). Who will arrange for this? Write down a name and phone number of a person you can call if you have questions about equipment.
- Ask if you’re ready to do the activities below. Circle the ones you need help with, and tell the staff: Bathing, dressing, using the bathroom, climbing stairs, cooking, food shopping, house cleaning, paying bills, getting to doctors’ appointments, picking up prescription drugs.
- Ask the staff to show you and your caregiver any other tasks that require special skills (like changing a bandage or giving a shot). Then, show them you can do these tasks. Write down a name and phone number of a person you can call if you need help.
- Ask to speak to a social worker if you’re concerned about how you and your family are coping with your illness. Write down information about support groups and other resources.
- Talk to a social worker or your health plan if you have questions about what your insurance will cover, and how much you’ll have to pay. Ask about possible ways to get help with your costs.
- Ask for written discharge instructions (that you can read and understand) and a summary of your current health status. Bring this information and a drug list to you follow-up appointments.
- Discuss these questions with your caregiver before discharge. Have your caregiver get prescriptions and any special diet instructions early, so they can be prepared and you won’t have to make extra trips after discharge.
**A discharge planner is available to help you plan for follow-up care and to coordinate community resources to meet your needs. There is no fee for this service. The discharge planner will usually visit you in the first 48 hours of your stay. They can also be reached by phone for any questions prior to admission 320-693-4530 or 320-639-4500.