Don't Come Back: 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid After Hospitalization

How to Help Someone You Love Get the Right Kind of Rehabilitative Care

You've done everything you can to make sure someone you love gets the best possible care in the hospital. But once the doctor gives you the good news that your loved one is ready to be discharged, your duties aren't over. In fact, you may find they're just beginning.

Whether your loved one's care takes place at home or in a rehabilitation or skilled nursing facility, there are many, many decisions to make, both in the beginning and as time goes on. And how you handle post-hospital care can make an enormous difference in your loved one's long-term recovery -- and in whether or not he ends up having to return to the hospital. "A high percentage of people discharged are readmitted within 30 days," says geriatric care manager Kay Paggi. "Often it's because they don't read the discharge instructions, don't understand them, or can't comply with them." Here, the 5 most common pitfalls, and how to avoid them.

Melanie Haiken

Melanie Haiken discovered how important it is to provide accurate, targeted, usable health information to people facing difficult decisions when she was health editor of Parenting magazine. See full bio

over 2 years ago, said...

This was a real eye opener for me. I have been caring for my disabled husband for 6 years and I see him slowly decline. I am grateful for the information.

almost 3 years ago, said...

Very good points to give someone with Alzheimer's disease. I have had it for a year now and I am on medications. I am not looking for what may be ahead down the road though.

almost 3 years ago, said...

Thank you for this article. Caring for my husband now that he is in his 60's and has had severe illnesses and operations is so different from when we were younger, when he would bounce back within a short while. Many aha moments as iread this information, adn every bit if advice helps. :-)

almost 3 years ago, said...

Have a pair of recently repaired shoes for the day of discharge after surgery. You should be well-heeled when going home.