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Prepare for Discharge

One very important mission for the person in recovery is to take things one step at a time. We want to prevent overwhelm and support a feeling of competency as this will build healthy self esteem, quality mental health and confidence. In turn, this will result in the confidence that your loved one needs in order to feel and be successful in his or her own life path. With that said, below are some things for both you and your loved one to keep in mind as you prepare for discharge.

Before your loved one is released, make sure there are written instructions for treatment, e.g., what medications should be taken and when, who to see for follow-up care and when, and what professionals are available in case of emergency. Below are summary lists of things for both your loved one and for you.

The first list areses the patient who is being released, and if you are this person’s caregiver, you can go over this list with him or her.  The next list is for both of you.  The last, is for the caregiver. For more details about the psychiatric hospitalization experience, read my last six posts.

  1. Talk to your Treatment Team
  2. Know your Diagnosis
  3. Write down any changes in diet or activity your loved one needs to make because of treatment
  4. Have a copy of your Wellness and Recovery Plan
  5. Make sure you have a support team that understands what you need, your situation, and is a part of your Wellness and recovery plan
  6. Get assistance with medical insurance and cards etc. for follow up care
  7. Know where you will be going for continued outpatient care
  8. Have your living arrangements completed
  9. Know your medications and how to take them correctly Keep an extra set of phone numbers that include your Outpatient Clinic, the Hospital where you are currently staying, and access/contact numbers to the medical insurance agency that you are using, your pharmacy’s number, your social workers number
  10. Make sure that you have someone to stay with you and help you to reintegrate into your community successful

It is wise for both of you to Remember:

  • Take it easy
  • Attend your outpatient support groups
  • Go to all of your appointments
  • Do something fun with someone you love
  • Have realistic expectations

A last note to caregivers: some things that will make your loved feel especially welcome and will reduce overwhelm if you are living under the same roof:

  1. Keep a predictable home routine
  2. Keep in mind some special things that your loved one really likes around, such as a favorite food, or record a favorite TV show, etc.
  3. Go to your own support group and model the behavior that you would like to see in your loved one-this will encourage your loved one to go to his or her support group
  4. If applicable, and if possible, get permission from your loved one to be in regular contact with his or her social worker. Work together with his or her social worker to understand what your love one needs in the way of support at home. It might be regular rides to a program, or someone to pick up medications, or other help. A social worker or case manager can be your most valuable family support person if you can work with him or her. This person can help you help your loved one.
  5. Dont forget to take care of you

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 20 Jul 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

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