Hospital Discharge Planning Options, Skilled Nursing Facility, A Resource

December 30, 2010 at 11:26 pm Leave a comment

I received a call from a patient, we’ll call her Lisa, about planning for discharge from the hospital after an upcoming cancer related surgery. Lisa is 83, lives alone, finished chemotherapy, and was now dealing with the additional treatment of her cancer. She requested referrals for personal caregivers because she thought she would choose to discharge to home from the hospital. After speaking with her about her present living situation it appeared that discharging to a skilled nursing facility was a much better choice. There she would receive nursing care and physical therapy rehabilitation. Her goal was to return to a state of independent living and the physical therapy available at a skilled nursing facility would help her regain the strength to do so. Lisa liked the fact that a skilled nursing facility is covered by Medicare, 100% for the first 21 days. I emailed her the list of skilled nursing facilities close to the hospital from where she was being discharged, and recommended, if possible, she visit them before making her decision. I let her know which facilities seemed to be the most popular, but encouraged her to choose the location at which she felt most comfortable.  Lisa was very appreciative for the guidance which seemed to help alleviate some anxiety about her plans after surgery. Lisa’s situation is an example of how an open discussion with a professional medical social worker can make a seemingly difficult situation easier and less stressful. Her choice to make these decisions in advance turned out to be more efficient than planning after hospital discharge.

 For free information about skilled nursing facilities and questions to ask when seeking their services, click here.

 For a list of Los Angeles based skilled nursing facilities, click here.

Phyllis Ruja Tell, MSW
Manager, Ronnie Lippin Cancer Information & Resource Line
www.lacancerinfo.org | Toll Free: 877-752-2120
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