Elder Care Solutions – Planning for Discharge after a Stay in the Hospital

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JFS Elder Care Managers understand the challenges of growing older.  Here, our elder experts explore issues families face when unexpected changes in physical or mental health impact a loved one’s ability to live independently.

In this article, Elder Care expert Malka Young discusses 7 things you need to know to when a loved one is discharged from the hospital.

Live Better, Longer with JFS Elder Care Solutions. 

Planning for At-Home Recovery
after a Stay in the Hospital

What YOU Need to Know about Hospital Discharge Planning

My parents are in their 80s, and my father just called. Mom fell and has been admitted
to the hospital. I am very worried, not only about my mom’s health but also about how
they will manage when she goes home. Please help!

When a loved one is admitted to the hospital, we assume that the hospital has the patient’s best interests in mind, and we depend on the hospital staff to provide the best care and advice possible.

What you may not know is that on that first day your mother was admitted to the hospital, planning has already begun for her discharge.

Hospitals are under tremendous pressure to reduce length of stay, keep costs down, collect data and be efficient, and while we would like to believe that the discharge planning team is putting the needs of our loved one front and center, often it is the patient who is neglected when revolving door policies are the priority.

Here are 7 things you can do while your mother is in the hospital to ensure that she does not get lost in the shuffle:

  1. Make the connection: Find out the name and contact information for your mother’s discharge planner (usually a nurse).
  1. Get involved: Tell that person that you want to be involved in deciding what will happen when it is time for your mother to leave the hospital.
  1. Define service needs: If your mother will be returning home, know what services might be needed. Unless your parents are part of a senior total health plan, you can choose which Medicare certified home care agency you want to provide follow-up care.
  1. Plan ahead: If your mother only needs non-medical care, such as homemaking help and bathing, you will need to arrange for this on your own.
  1. Investigate the options: If the hospital wants to discharge your mother to a rehabilitation facility, you will have little time or information to know how to determine which facility will be best for her. Start looking into options now.
  1. Know your rights: If you are concerned about the discharge date, you have the right to appeal and request a longer hospital stay.
  1. Hire an Elder Care Manager: JFS Elder Care Managers understand the discharge process and are available to help make sure that your mother gets the care and services she needs when she leaves the hospital.

Whether you need help communicating with hospital staff, negotiating planning meetings, researching care facilities, advocating for services or managing an appeals process, JFS Elder Care Managers have the knowledge and experience necessary to ensure that your mother is safe and supported as she continues her journey to recovery.

When a loved one is admitted to the hospital, the clock starts ticking. If you or a loved one needs help preparing for hospital discharge, JFS can help.

Let JFS Elder Care Solutions help you make sure that your parents have the easiest transition possible when it comes time to leave the hospital.

Contact JFS Elder Care Solutions Today

About the Author

Malka Young, LICSW, C-ASWCM
– Director of JFS Elder Care Solutions
– Advanced Professional Member of the Aging Life Care Association (ALCA)
– Certified Advanced Social Work Care Manager
Malka Young, Director of JFS Elder Care Solutions, provides a full range of life care management services for older adults and their families with a multidisciplinary team of social workers and nurses.

Malka received her Master’s degree in Social Work from Boston University and graduated from Brandeis University. She is a frequent presenter at local and national conferences. Malka addresses the challenges of aging in community, living well with chronic illness, caring for aging parents, grief and bereavement. She is a published author and was the first social worker in the pioneering Geriatric Evaluation Unit at the VA Medical Center in Jamaica Plan. She is an advanced professional member of the Aging Life Care Association and holds specialty certification from the National Association of Social workers as a certified advanced social work case manager.


Geriatric Care Management
– Personalized Consultation to Older Adults and Families
– Living Well with Chronic Illness
– Family Relationships/Caring for Aging Parents
– Dementia and Neurological Disease
– Family Caregiver Coaching
– Jewish Resources for Aging Well

Contact Malka today to learn how JFS Elder Care Solutions
can help your loved ones live better, longer.
Phone: 800-655-9553
Email: help4elders@jfsmw.org

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