After a Hospital Discharge: There’s No Place Like Home
by Brandee Cowley, RN BSN, Apostolic Christian Skylines Home Care Services

If you are a family caregiver, it’s a relief at the end of a loved one’s hospital stay to hear that it is finally time for them to return home. For you, this notice of impending discharge begins a period of transition that will determine whether they successfully resume life at home or are readmitted to the hospital. Fortunately, there are many positive things that can be done to increase the likelihood of success and decrease the chances of readmission. Your support and involvement during this period, especially the first 30 days after discharge, will be critical.

Preparing for Discharge

Before the discharge, make sure that:

Responsibilities After Discharge

Medical appointments:


Medical Information

Daily Living Activities

Once your loved one is home, you may find that that even minimal activity and self-care are difficult for them because of changes in their body systems caused by bed rest in the hospital.  It’s not uncommon for an older adult to need more help than usual to get back into the swing of things. Some areas where they may need help during the transition period while they recover:

Family members or friends may be available to help in this area. The services of a licensed home care agency—even if only for 30 days—can relieve family members and provide trained, reliable support.


The University of Colorado School of Medicine’s Care Transitions Program is the basis of much of the information in this article. Their website ( has many other useful resources and checklists for family caregivers supporting a loved one during and after a hospital discharge.

AC Skylines Home Care provides in–home caregiving and nursing services. For more information and a no–charge consultation, call AC Skylines Home Care Services at (309) 689–5343 or send email to Visit or

Apostolic Christian Skylines’ continuing care retirement community offers senior living options that include nursing home care, memory care, assisted living, and independent living. For more information, call Apostolic Christian Skylines at (309) 683-2500 or send email to Visit or