Understanding the Importance of Planning for a Hospital Stay

A post-hospital care plan can help seniors in their recovery and support.

A post-hospital care plan can help seniors in their recovery and support.

For seniors, a hospital stay can be a difficult experience that affects their physical health, independence, and emotional stability. However, when seniors can prepare for recovery beforehand, it helps them better manage the transition back to their regular lives. They can do this with the help of loved ones and explore what the post-hospital care plan should include before their hospital stay. Doing so helps reduce stress and anxiety and helps seniors feel in control.


Preparing for a Hospital Stay

While not every hospital stay is scheduled, it’s essential to take advantage of prior planning when they are. Loved ones can help seniors prepare for their stay by encouraging open conversation between seniors, themselves, and healthcare professionals. Allow the opportunity for seniors to talk about their expectations, preferences, and worries about the hospital stay and ask questions about what might be included in the post-hospital care plan. Knowing—rather than worrying about the unknown—can go a long way.

In addition, loved ones can help seniors with the following:

  • Establish a Network of Support: Loved ones can help seniors create a network of friends, neighbors, and home care to help with various duties prior to, during, and following the hospital stay. This network may arrange care, assist with everyday tasks, and offer emotional support.
  • Medical Records and Information: Prior to admission, loved ones should ensure seniors have access to all relevant medical records and information. This includes a list of prescribed medications, medical records, details about insurance, and, if relevant, advance directives.
  • Getting Ready at Home: With home care by their side, loved ones can make the required preparations to prepare the house for seniors’ return. This could include clearing up clutter from hallways, installing safety features like grab bars or ramps, and making any necessary arrangements for house adaptations.


Creating a Successful Post-Hospital Care Plan

Prior planning can help ensure seniors are ready for whatever the post-hospital care plan might include, which translates to better recovery. For instance, if seniors know prior to their hospital stay that they will need rehabilitation, it won’t come as a surprise to find it on their post-hospital care plan.

Things that seniors can prepare for that are often included in these plans include the following:

  • Transitional Care Coordination: The post-hospital care plan should be based on the senior’s requirements in collaboration with healthcare providers. Dietary advice, medication management, follow-up appointments, and rehabilitation services could all fall under this category.
  • Home Care Services: If seniors do not already have home care in place, adding them to the plan can provide them with the extra assistance they need while healing. Home care can assist with daily living activities, reminders for medications, wound care, physical therapy, and more.
  • Nutrition and Hydration: The post-hospital care plan should also address proper nutrition and hygiene and correlate with what medical providers discussed before the hospital stay. With this collaboration, seniors will be prepared for dietary changes, and loved ones can ensure the right foods are ready when seniors return home.


Supporting seniors through the transition from hospital to home requires putting plans in place prior to the hospital stay and having open discussions about what to anticipate from the post-hospital care plan. This strategy helps reduce the stress that comes from “not knowing” and allows seniors to process feelings sooner rather than later. While it’s not guaranteed that the post-hospital care plan will fully fall in line with prior planning, it is still better than no planning at all.



If you or an aging loved one are considering Post-Hospital Care in Evanston, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 948-0860. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette, and the surrounding areas.



Jamie Shapiro