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After a long-term stay at any care facility, going back home without 24/7 care might seem intimidating. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make sure your return home is as smooth as possible. Here are some tips to consider before heading back home:

Talk to a care coordinator.

Your care coordinator, or discharge planner, will be one of your main support systems and resources as you prepare to transition back home. This person will help you determine what treatment and support will be needed after you leave a long-term care facility. With this information, they can also help you find at-home medical services and understand insurance coverage for other services you may need like physical therapy, primary care, and in-home care.

Understand your care.

Knowing how to carry out the medical duties needed to maintain your treatment allows you to confidently and independently transition back into the community. Before you are discharged, get hands-on demonstrations or detailed instructions about the daily medical and nursing tasks you will need to do. It may even help to take pictures or videos to jog your memory later on. If you plan on getting in-home care from someone else, make sure they are informed of how to do these tasks as well so that you can smoothly continue your care.

Start planning ahead of time.

Gathering the information you need for post-discharge care early on can help you feel more confident and prepared when it’s time to go back home. Ask to speak with a care coordinator or social worker for help planning your next steps, transportation to get back home, insurance coverage, payment plans, etc. You can also arrange for any home modifications and medical equipment you need so that by the time you return home, you are already set up for your continued care.

Check out transition programs.

Planning for your return home after staying elsewhere for an extended period of time can be complicated. In this case, reaching out to a transition program may be helpful. If you qualify, programs like My Care Options will set you up with a care coordinator who can help you with several things including hiring in-home care, creating a care plan for your needs, and reviewing your financial information. Other programs, like Money Follows the Person, can help you find a home and get the in-home care you need.

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