Leaving the hospital may seem overwhelming because so many things may be different, but your stroke care team will prepare you to move home or perhaps to another setting that can better meet your needs.
Going home poses few problems for people who have had a minor stroke and have few complications. However, for those who have had more severe strokes, going home depends on these factors:
- ability to care for yourself - rehabilitation should be focused on daily activities.
- ability to follow medical advice - it's important to take medications as prescribed and closely follow your medical advice.
- access to a caregiver - someone who is willing and able to help when needed should be available.
- ability to move around and communicate - if patients aren't independent in these areas, they may be at risk in an emergency or feel isolated.
Living at home successfully also depends on how well your home can be adapted to meet your needs.
Safety - Take a look around your home and eliminate anything that might be dangerous. This can be as simple as taking up throw rugs, testing the temperature of bath water or wearing rubber-soled shoes to prevent slips and falls. It may also be necessary to install handrails in your bathroom or other areas.
Accessibility - You need to be able to move freely within the house. Modifications can be as simple as rearranging the furniture for easier movement or as dedicated as building ramps.
Independence - Your home should be modified so you can be as independent as possible. This can mean adding adaptive equipment like grab bars or transfer benches in certain areas of your home.
If your condition is not stable enough to return home, your doctor may recommend another type of facility that can better meet your post-stroke needs. It's important that the living place you choose is safe and supports your continued recovery. After care facilities can include:
Extended care facility - Designed for those individuals who need assistance with day-to-day activities or with medical needs. An extended care facility is needed when someone has a condition that is likely to last for a long period of time.
Sub-acute care - Comprehensive inpatient care designed for someone who has an acute illness, injury or exacerbation of a disease process. It is goal-oriented treatment rendered immediately after, or instead of, acute hospitalization to treat one or more specific active complex medical conditions, or provide rehabilitation services.
Assisted living - This is for people who can live somewhat independently but need some assistance with things like meals, medication and housekeeping.
If you have any questions about these locations, please speak with your care management coordinator.