Senior Citizen's Guide to Philadelphia and Suburbs Fall/Winter 2014 - 15 - page 10

Say You Saw It in the Senior Citizen’s Guide to Philadelphia & Suburbs
Before you leave the hospital
• Take charge and ask questions. Although hospital staff
are required to formally discharge you, the staff person
doing this may not be intimately familiar with you and
your treatment. It’s up to you to ask questions to make
sure you understand what you are supposed to do. Here
are examples of questions to ask before you leave:
o Do you understand what all your medications are
and when you should take them?
o Do you have any dietary restrictions?
o What is the recommended activity level? Should
you perform any exercises?
o Do you need any assistive devices, like a walker,
cane or raised toilet seat?
o Have you received training in self-care? For
instance, if you had abdominal surgery, do you
know the proper way to get out of bed?
o When should your first follow up appointment
with your primary care physician take place?
Finally, at Home
Although most seniors are happy to go home, leaving
the hospital can also bring a surprising amount of
stress—especially since medical professionals are no
longer available around the clock. It can help to keep
a phone always nearby, as well as your care plan at
arm’s reach and refer to it often. Finally, if your health
condition changes, contact your physician sooner rather
than later, so you can avoid more complex treatment or
costly care later on.
Editorial provided by Gateway Health
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