Sunday, January 1, 2012

Not What We Expected

Something I just learned that I thought I’d pass on.  Did you know that hospitals may be able to help with aftercare?  There is usually or discharge planner or social worker who can help you.   I don’t mean the usual, but when something goes wrong after leaving the hospital.   Over a weekend, another family member (not my daughter this time thank goodness) had to go to a rehab center until she was strong enough to go home.  There was some confusion and she ended up at the wrong center and we were making phone calls outside of the workweek.


Of course everyone is off til Monday…

So what could we do?  We started by calling the primary care physician and specialists but got the answering service.  Since it wasn’t (yet) an emergency I thought why not speak to the person who did the discharge before she left the hospital.  The discharge planner was very helpful and said that my relative had mistakenly requested a facility in the same city of the one she really wanted to go to.  I realize as parents that we would most like be in charge of aftercare plans but thought these might be good tips just in case you end up someplace that really isn’t appropriate.    Anyway, I asked her how we could fix this.


What we did:

  • Spoke to the supervisor at the facility where she was currently.  We explained the mix-up and they asked us to call the facility she really wanted (as did the discharge planner) to see if there were any openings.
  • Called the “preferred” facility and asked for the supervisor to explain the situation.  There were no beds until Monday but we got the direct extension to call the social worker first thing.
  • Spoke to the supervisor of the original facility explaining we would transfer but also asked to switch her to a private room (which they did). 


Sometimes it’s not this easy, but the discharge planner also sent me a list of nearby facilities (including telling me which was a “sister” facility in case they couldn’t switch the room).  Everyone was very helpful at the hospital and both facilities, and knowing it was temporary calmed everything down.  I’ve added just two resources in case you need extra help (but hopefully will never find yourself in this situation).  You never know.



Remain hopeful,




Family Voices (parents of children with special needs)


National Family Caregivers Association (all caregivers across the lifespan)

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