Hospital Discharge, Part II

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What are the options when it’s time to leave the hospital? …

Here are some key questions to ask the doctor, social worker or care manager when discussing nursing home care:

  • What are the goals of care that we should hope for?
  • What placement options are available?
  • How well will each option achieve the desired goal?
  • Are there risks associated with any of the options?
  • Who will provide the medical care to my relative?
  • How long will they stay at the facility?
  • What are the costs and will insurance cover any of them?

Once you find a facility that looks good the next step is to understand its staffing, philosophy and user friendliness.  Questions you might ask might include:

  • How far is it away, and will family and friends be inclined to visit?
  • Is there a religious or other philosophy that is acceptable?
  • Are there rules that will keep the patient from doing things they value?
  • What is known about the institution’s track record with quality of care?
  • Will my hospital doctor talk directly to their doctor in order to minimize confusion at the time of transfer?