Stay Safe and Healthy After a Hospital Stay
November 30, 2022
Your hospital stay is over—but your recovery could continue for weeks or months.
You might be back home after surgery. Maybe you stayed in the hospital for a serious illness or accident.
No matter what sent you there, follow your doctor’s instructions and the tips below. We want to help you stay safe at home, so you don’t end up back in a hospital bed!
Write down all instructions.
- New medications? Changes to current prescriptions? Write it down so you’ll remember.
- Make sure you have enough medication before you leave the hospital. Use a calendar to plan ahead.
- Note any rules or restrictions for using the stairs, exercising, or lifting your children.
- You will probably need follow-up appointments with your doctor or other health care providers. Schedule them as early as possible—and write it down!
Ask for help with childcare and home chores.
- Ask family and friends for help with childcare. You may need children to stay with family for a few days while you rest.
- You might not be allowed to lift heavy items. Get help with moving laundry baskets, washing pots and pans, making the bed, and cleaning.
Plan ahead for meals.
- If you can, stock up on healthy foods before your hospital stay.
- Make a grocery list and ask a friend to shop for you. Grocery bags can be heavy.
- Consider cutting back on caffeine. Good sleep is important after a hospital stay.
Make your home as safe as possible.
- Ask your doctor about special equipment, such as a medical bed or non-slip shower chair.
- Prevent trips and falls. Remove clutter from floors, hallways, and steps.
- Sleep as close as possible to the bathroom—even if that means sleeping downstairs on the couch.
- Put medication, water, snacks, tissues, and other essential items near your sleeping space.
Call your doctor right away if you have:
- Leg pain
- Draining or leakage from any incision
- Unusual bleeding
- Pain that gets worse
- A hard time breathing
Call the free 24-hour Nurse Line.
Have questions about recovery from surgery, childbirth, or an accident?
Are you feeling dizzy or weak—and worried you have a heat-related sickness?
Get professional help. Call the 24-Hour Nurse Line.
There is no cost to you for this Parkland Community Health Plan service.
HEALTHfirst STAR Medicaid 1-888-672-2277
KIDSfirst CHIP/CHIP Perinate 1-888-814-2352
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