This is a caregiver guide to help you prepare for discharge from a Fort Worth – Dallas, TX area rehabilitation hospital. Upon discharge, you will likely need in-home care and/or home health care from a home health agency such as Care Mountain that has a good established reputation working with one of the Fort Worth – Dallas, TX area rehabilitation hospitals listed below.
Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Plano, Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Dallas, Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Richardson, Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Arlington, Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of the Mid-Cities, Encompass Rehabilitation Hospital of City View, Methodist Rehabilitation Hospital, Kindred Hospital Dallas, Kindred Hospital Tarrant County – Arlington, Kindred Hospital Fort Worth, Kindred Hospital Mansfield, Baylor Scott & White Institute For Rehabilitation – Dallas, Baylor Scott & White – Irving Rehabilitation Unit, Baylor Scott & White – Grapevine Rehabilitation Unit, Baylor Scott & White Institute For Rehabilitation – Frisco, Baylor Scott & White Institute For Rehabilitation – Fort Worth, Texas Health Dallas Inpatient Rehabilitation Services, Medical City Dallas Inpatient Rehabilitation Center, UT Southwestern Inpatient Rehabilitation and Presbyterian Village North Rehabilitation.
From my 33+ years experience as an in-home care and home health care provider ,the biggest mistake I see families make is waiting until they get a discharge date from their rehabilitation hospital before making plans for needed care at home. Discharge dates often come with much shorter notice than most families are expecting, so many end up in crisis mode. Discharge planning should start shortly after entering a rehabilitation hospital through education and preparation in some key areas.
Each rehabilitation hospital will have a key contact person responsible for working with you on a discharge plan. Contact this person early and start asking about expectations for notice of discharge and names of home health care agencies, so you can start your due diligence. Home health agencies vary on types of care licensed to provide as well as types of insurance accepted. Care Mountain’s Beginner Guide To In-Home Care & Home Health Care is a great place to start to learn more. There is a very good chance you will need to work with two separate agencies to cover all your in-home care needs upon rehabilitation hospital discharge.
Home health agencies such as Care Mountain help match you up with a good caregiver fit, versus having a stranger showing up in your home betting on hope that it works out. This matching process involves an assessment and meeting a caregiver to ensure she/he is that right fit, which requires a little lead time. A last minute notice of discharge makes this due diligence a real challenge, which is why we recommend starting the process sooner rather than later.
Once you have narrowed down the home health agencies you prefer to work with when the time comes, then as each day progresses you want to start focusing on getting clearer expectations as to rehabilitative levels of health, goals and the resources needed to achieve those goals. The biggest mistake I see families make here is in trying to gain an unrealistic level of certainty and/or underestimating the resources needed when arriving back home.
Scheduling of your in-home caregiver is a good example. Over my 33+years has a home health care provider I have yet to see a family time a caregiver schedule perfectly from the start. It is something you take a best guess at and adjust as needed. It is a lot easier to cut caregiver hours as desired, then to add them last minute as needed. Caregiver scheduling is as important, and sometimes more important, for the family caregiver to ensure that person stays within their own healthy limits of care. I have heard of too many cases where a spouse suffers a health setback by exceeding their healthy limits while caring for a family member/loved one.
On the subject of healthy limits, it brings us back to goals and expectations. Setting realistic goals and expectations early on in the rehabilitation process will ensure you have good benchmarks for quality improvement and better ensure you have adequate resources in place to achieve them (so you don’t exceed your healthy limits). These metrics will also help to ensure a caregiver is not unwittingly enabling dependence, or the patient does not fall into that learned helplessness trap.