Hospital Admission and Discharge
Sometimes a hospital stay is planned and sometimes people are admitted as an emergency. The hospital stay may only be for a day or two or perhaps for a longer period. Whatever the situation it helps if you can be prepared for the possibility of a hospital stay. You may wish to consider the following points if you are expecting to go into hospital.
Before you go into hospital
Do you know how long you will be away from home?
Friends, family and neighbours will need to know this so that you can plan for your homecoming.
Consider the security of your home, especially if you live alone. Try to leave a key with a trusted neighbour or relative in case of emergencies. If you have a burglar alarm, does somebody know the code in case it goes off when you are not there?
Cancel milk, newspapers etc. If you are likely to be away for some time, ask a friend or neighbour to move your post from the doormat to somewhere out of sight of any of your windows. You can also ask the post office to re-direct your mail, for a small fee, to an alternative address.
Will your finances be affected?
If you are claiming benefits a stay in hospital may affect them. You may also find that you are entitled to more benefit after your hospital stay if your circumstances have changed. The Pension Service should be advised of your hospital admission as soon as possible to ensure that they can amend any benefits accordingly, contact them on 0345 6060265.
Do you look after a relative or friend? Will they be affected by your stay in hospital?
You may need to organise some support for them in your absence. Friends and family members may be available to lend a hand but for more personal care needs you may want to contact your GP or social worker. Help and Care can give you more information or make a referral to Social Services on your behalf. Contact Help and Care on 0300 111 3303.
The person you live with may also be worried about what will happen to you and may not understand what you will be going through. Try to discuss this as fully as possible. It is a good idea to have a plan of action in the event of you being away, even if you are not expecting to go into hospital. It is far better to be organised in case of an emergency.
Useful information: Help & Care Fact Sheets: Contact 0300 111 3303.
Factsheet – Help with shopping, personal care and housework.
Factsheet – Meals delivered to your home.
Factsheet – Shops that deliver, and Laundry Services.
Factsheet – Equipment for daily living.
Do you have any pets?
Even if you are not planning on being away for long you will need to ensure that pets will be looked after. Perhaps a relative or friend can look after them, or they may need to go to boarding kennels. Some animal charities may be able to over help or advice.
The Cinnamon Trust may be able to help in some areas by fostering your pet while you are away. They may also be able to provide help with dog walking. For further information contact The Cinnamon Trust, 10 Market Square, Hayle, Cornwall, TR27 4HE, Telephone: 01736 757900 to find out about services in your area.
The RSPCA will only intervene if an animal has been abandoned as the result of its owner being admitted to hospital. They will take an animal to a rescue centre if it is clear that the animal is suffering from neglect.
Useful information: Help & Care Fact Sheet: Contact 0300 111 3303.
Factsheet – Choosing and caring for a pet.
Do you understand why you need to go into hospital and what you are going to have done?
If you are unsure about anything ask your doctor,nurse or specialist. If you still do not understand, don’t worry, it may be that you need somebody else to explain it to you. You could also think about taking somebody else that you trust with you to see your consultant. Having somebody with you may help you to understand what is being said and remember to ask all the questions you have in mind. If you do not have anyone to take with you, ask the hospital if they have an advocate or someone independent who can come with you.
Help & Care offer a General Advocacy Service for people over 65 and who are resident in Bournemouth & Poole, and a General Advocacy Service for people aged over 50 in Christchurch, East Dorset, and Purbeck areas (this service is also available to people aged over 18 if they have a physical or sensory impairment or a long term health condition. For further information contact Help and Care by telephoning 0300 111 3303.