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Preparing for the Transition to Home

TRANSCRIPT

ALAN
I hear there may be a reason to celebrate? Brock’s coming home soon, is that right?

ADDIE
Yeah!

KARA
You can’t tell she’s excited, can you?

ALAN
Well, she should be. The transition home is a big step, and it’s very exciting. But, honestly, it can be really stressful too.

KARA
Yeah tell me about it. There’s so much to do, so much to get ready.

ALAN
Well, one of the most important things to remember is that you don’t have to do it all by yourself. Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re weak or incapable. It just means you’re human. And some people will offer to help without even being asked. Don’t you be afraid to take them up on those offers.

KARA
Okay.

ALAN
Now you’ll need to discuss the transition home with the healthcare team and work with them to make a plan based on Brock’s needs. You may want to consider a trial weekend at home before he fully transitions. It could help you identify additional needs, like any modifications to your home that might be necessary, or generally what to expect.

KARA
Modifications?

ALAN
Well yeah. Part of being prepared for Brock to come home means making sure the home environment is safe. So you may want to talk to the healthcare team about a home safety evaluation. A physical or occupational therapist may come to your home to do that assessment. I would guess that any modifications you need to will be relatively minor and inexpensive. Grab bars, handrails, lever handles on the doors, things like that. Some people have to make major changes like installing elevators or lifts or installing emergency communication systems. I don’t expect you’ll need anything that major for Brock though. By the way, the VA has a special program, called the Specially Adapted Housing Grant, it’s available if you need assistance covering the cost of home modifications. Your healthcare team should be able to provide a contact for you.

Kara looks completely overwhelmed as Alan speaks, but she rallies.

KARA
Okay. I’ll bring that up with the team at our next meeting.

ALAN
Great. Now the healthcare team can also evaluate Brock for any special equipment that he might require. Think about the assistive devices that Brock is using in the hospital right now – anything from a magnifying glass to canes, walkers, a special bed – I want you to talk with the case manager or discharge planner to coordinate getting the same kind of equipment so that it’s ready when he gets home. They can also help you with obtaining any necessary medical equipment through insurance. Now once you have everything, it’s a good idea to keep a list of the contact information for the medical equipment companies just in case there’s ever a problem with the equipment.

KARA
Another thing to add to the binder?

ALAN
Wherever it’s easy for you to find.