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Intensive Care: A Guide for You and Your Family

Going home

Leaving the hospital and going back home is a big step in your recovery. This is the goal you’ve been working toward for some time. It’s a positive step, and it will take time and effort to get back to your normal life and routine.

Before you leave the hospital, your healthcare team will give you instructions on how to look after yourself at home and what to watch for. If you have any questions talk to your healthcare team.

Your healthcare team will also check to see if you might face any challenges when you get home. This includes things like going up stairs, getting to your doctor’s office, and if you’ll need help to cook or go shopping. If you’ve been confused or find it hard to remember things, they’ll look into that as well. If you need more help at home your healthcare team can help you plan for and get the care and equipment you’ll need.

When you leave the hospital you may get:

When to call the doctor

Call or talk to your family doctor if you:

  • need more support
  • have symptoms that you’re worried about
  • have questions about anything to do with your health
  • a letter that outlines your time and treatment in hospital – called a discharge summary
  • a copy of your prescriptions for medicines you may need or changes to medicines you already have at home
  • information about follow-up appointments or any referrals you may need – you should make an appointment to see your family doctor within a few weeks of getting out of the hospital
  • laboratory requisitions for follow up blood work, X-rays, or other diagnostic tests

Your family doctor will get a copy of your discharge summary. If they’re in Alberta they will also be able to see the results of tests and procedures you had while you were in hospital. If you don’t have a family doctor you can call Health Link at 811, or use Find a Doctor here.

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