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I've had this happen before and am trying to make my dad's discharge from the hospital in the next few days as easy as possible, especially for me - the caregiver.

How do you get doctors, rehab centers, and social workers to understand that as a caregiver you need to have enough notice to get off work, get clothing for the patient, drive to the hospital, pick up the patient, and either prepare for in home care or going to a rehab center?

What has happened in the past is the doctor says he can go home and there's not time for me line up home caregivers and I end up having to call out of work. If he goes to a rehab center for a short stay (as he's done once before), I've had the hospital call and tell me I need to have him there by a certain time (last time they gave me two hours notice and it was extremely difficult me to do it in that time frame which put incredible stress on me).

I'm trying to explain to everyone involved that I'm an only child and I work and that I need them to give some idea of discharge so I can make appropriate plans including time I may need off of work.

I'd appreciate any ideas and stories of how other have handled this.

Thanks a lot.

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The social worker is suppose to see a pt. right when they are admitted and get all the information about discharge plans and have the family in the loop- and work with the family. In our state a pt. has to be in the hospital for 3 days before then can go to rehab on medicare-one time I talked directly to the admitting doctor and made him aware of this fact and he did keep him in the 3 days. If you have not heard from a social worker within 24 hrs. of admission-call the social service office and ask for a meeting and tell them that you need time to arrange plans for discharge,
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The ombudsman program is an advocate for the patient and family. Contact the social worker and ask for the representative for your hospital. If no one helps ask to have the administrator on call contacted. That usually gets everyones attention. Explain your discharge needs and confirm they are documenting this. Remind them that a good discharge plan begins with admission, that is a Joint Commission standard. Tell them you need 48 hours or whatever and make them honor this. Don't be bullied. They can't drop your dad in the street. If they say he needs to be picked up in 2 hours, say no that isn't possible with his needs and if you won't listen I will call someone who will. If you can find even one person, case manager, social worker etc to keep you in the loop it will help. The attending or admitting doctor really has control although they will be influenced by the hospital trying to control cost. Hope this helps and this discharge is better.
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