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Going home: discharge planning

Nobody likes to spend time in hospital. Patients are distanced from family and friends, their normal routines are upset, and they miss the comforts of their own home. The longer you stay in the hospital, the longer it takes to adjust to life at home again.

In working with the Waterloo Wellington Community Care Access Centre, Grand River Hospital has adopted the Home First philosophy to discharge planning. Home First is built upon the following principles:
  1. Older adults need time to recover from an acute event before making decisions about where they should live;
  2. The hospital is not the best place for someone to transition to long-term care or to wait for complex continuing care or rehabilitation services; and
  3. Waiting in hospital increases the risk of hospital-related complications such as an infection, a fall, or the potential for delirium.

Through Home First, we are shifting our thinking in how we consider a patient’s destination once their treatment is complete. The care team will explore the option for a patient to go home before considering other options. This may mean you might need to arrange for support in your home, depending on your specific needs.

We realize that not every patient who goes home will be able to stay there. It will take time to become comfortable with the idea that a patient can go home safely. Long-term care will still be the most appropriate option for some patients. But with the help of support people at home our goal is to restore health and independence whenever possible.

Our area’s CCAC and their community partners are ready to support the care required for patients to go home. Please call or visit:
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