Support After a Hospital Stay

If you have been a patient in the hospital, you likely have been given a couple options for support when you are discharged: home health care or subacute rehabilitation. But what does each of these options entail?

Home health care is provided in your home by skilled practitioners. It is covered through insurance and must be ordered by a doctor. In addition, you must have a primary care provider in the community to receive services. Home care can include a registered nurse visiting your home to provide education, check your vital signs, give IV medications and complete blood draws. Home therapy, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy, can be ordered as well. While you are receiving those services in your home, you can also have an aide and the support of a social worker. It’s important to know that these services only come several times per week depending on the plan of care created by the home health service.

Subacute rehabilitation means that you are going to a local nursing facility and will stay there while you complete your therapy. During this time, you will have nursing care and support from the nursing aides in completing your activities of daily living, such as bathing and dressing. The facility will supply all your meals and administer all your medications. You will have multiple therapies per day, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. It is more intensive than home health care, and therapy is daily. In addition, a social worker at the facility will set up the services you need when you return home. How long you stay in the rehabilitation facility is very individualized and based on your goals and progress.

It is important to discuss the recommendations with your hospital care team to decide which plan will best meet your needs so that you have a smooth transition from the hospital. If you are in the community and have questions about home health services or subacute rehab, call Care Connect at 410-871-7000 to discuss what level of care will best meet your needs.

Kathy Zilonis, LCSW-C, is a psychosocial health navigator at Carroll Hospital.


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