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Transitioning Home

TRANSCRIPT

ALAN
Once your home has all the necessary modifications and you have all the right medical equipment and assistive devices, the next thing you want to think about is creating a master schedule. People with TBI do best when they have structure and consistency, so have the healthcare team help you develop a master schedule before Brock comes home. Having it written down will help everyone involved with Brock’s care. You can find a sample schedule in your Guide for Caregivers.

KARA
Okay, master schedule. Got it. What else?

ALAN
You’ll want to keep a written list of all the therapies and exercises Brock will be doing at home, including diagrams and pictures of each step. This may include exercises or activities recommended by the physical, occupational, or speech therapist. Keep the list with the master schedule so it’s all in one place. These diagrams and pictures can show someone else how to help Brock if you’re not around.

ADDIE
Like me!

ALAN
Well yeah, of course!

KARA
Okay. What else?

ALAN
I know we’ve talked about it before at other stages, but good organization is critical since you’ll be managing Brock’s medications, tracking his appointments, and organizing caregiving tasks among family and friends.

KARA
Right.

ALAN
So let’s start with managing medications. I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep track of what medications are being taken, the dosages, when and how they need to be taken. For example, is it taken with or without food? A sip of water or a full glass? Are you supposed to place the medication under the tongue? Or is it something that needs to be chewed or swallowed? That kind of thing, you get the idea.

KARA
Yeah.

ALAN
Also keep track of any side effects or problems. When Brock leaves the hospital, make sure you get a copy of the discharge instructions, which should include a list and a schedule of all of Brock’s medications. When you pick up prescriptions from the pharmacy, double check that they match the list on the discharge instructions, and that you have written instructions for each and every medication. If you’re not sure about any of them, ask the pharmacist what the medication’s for, what it does, and what to do if Brock misses a dose. Also make sure you know when and how to administer each drug.

KARA
Okay. I’ve already been doing some of that anyway – as far as paperwork – so that shouldn’t be too much of an adjustment.

ALAN
Okay. Just make sure you’re always keeping the healthcare team informed of any drug allergies and any over-the-counter medications, like antacids, pain relievers, supplements, vitamins, energy drinks, and herbal products. Those should all be a part of the medication log.

KARA
Okay.

ALAN
Now since you have not been administering Brock’s medications while he’s been in the hospital, you’ll need to develop a home schedule. You can use one of those seven-day pillbox’s to keep the medications organized. Always consult with Brock’s doctor before making any changes with dosage or stopping any medications. And make sure Brock is taking each medication at the correct time.

KARA
Yes, sir.
You’re going to help me remember all of that, aren’t you?