The best time to start planning for discharge is just after the person is admitted to the hospital. This may seem too soon to think about going home, but planning early gives you more time to prepare. The healthcare team may not know yet how long he
is likely to be in the hospital. When he does leave the hospital, he might be discharged:
- home, with no needed services
- home, with help from a family caregiver
- home, with help from home care
- a rehabilitation setting for longer term rehabilitation
- a supportive living environment such as a personal care home, assisted living, or long term care
Many people with a brain injury will need outpatient rehabilitation services once they leave the hospital.
The rehabilitation process begins in the hospital and continues at home.
Outpatient therapy usually lasts much longer than inpatient therapy. Members of the healthcare team develop rehabilitation goals that will help him function to the best of his ability and become as independent as possible. Having realistic goals and
expectations for yourself as a caregiver is important throughout the recovery process. The rehabilitation team is there to answer your questions and to support you as everyone adjusts to life at home.
Tell the team that you are the family caregiver. Meet with the social worker as soon as you can to talk about discharge. This is a good time to talk about:
- how much time you can spend being a family caregiver
- whether you will provide all or some of the needed care
- whether you can keep working or have to take time off
- whether you have any health problems or issues, such as not being able to lift
- whether you have other commitments, such as caring for young children
- all your other questions and concerns about being a family caregiver