At what point can she come home from the care facility?

Draeder1 asked...

My 80 year old mother broker her hip 3 weeks ago. She is in an extended care facility and doing great, however, she still has not put any weight on the injury. Is there a rule of thumb as to when she will be able to return home. We have hired an in-home caregiver and have also arranged for in-home hospice care.

Expert Answer

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Discharge from a extended care facility does not mean that you have to be fully recovered to go home. It simply means that the healthcare team has determined that your condition is stable, and that you do not need rehab-level care anymore. At an extended care facility, a social worker or nurse usually serves as the "discharge planner". Their job is to make sure that all of the patient's needs will be met upon discharge from the skilled care facility. This would include setting up in-home services, like PT or nursing care, and making sure that the patient will get meals and medications at home. This is an individualized process, since every person has different needs. To help you and your mother, you should find out who does the discharge planning in that facility and start talking with them about your concerns.

If you have already arranged for in-home hospice, then they usually take care of everything themselves. Typically, your mother will be assigned a case manager by the hospice, which will help direct her care. They can arrange caretakers, and provide medications to keep her comfortable at home. So, if she cannot fully bear weight, I don't think this will be a problem for the hospice team, as I think they can work around it. Good luck!