If you have spent a long time in hospital recovering from a serious injury or accident, then you are probably extremely eager to get home, sleep in your own bed and get back to your own routines. Your doctors and loved ones may be concerned about your ability to live independently, so here are some practical things you can do to regain your independence.
Purchase or hire assistive devices
If you are still unsteady on your feet, or stretching to perform certain everyday tasks like getting up from a seated positon on the toilet, it can be extremely helpful to purchase or hire devices such as shower chairs or higher toilet seats. Also, having an emergency button that you can carry with you can be useful if you have an unexpected fall. While it's easy to assume that you will always have a mobile phone within reach if you do fall, emergency buttons are much easier to operate if you are confused or in pain. Many hospitals, pharmacies or therapy practices can provide assistive devices.
Organise some occupational therapy sessions at home
Occupational therapy focuses on functional fitness, such as the ability to perform tasks such as dressing yourself or getting up and down stairs. Having these sessions in home can let you work out techniques for navigating any challenging parts of your home such as changes in levels as well as slippery or uneven surfaces inside or outside of your home. Occupational therapists spend a lot of time with people in recovery and are very familiar with the range of assistive devices on the market, so can also be a great resource in helping you to get set up at home.
Ask for help
While you might want to be fully independent, it can help to organise some extra support in the short term, including meal preparation and delivery, walking the dog, doing laundry, cleaning, doing yard work or providing transport. You probably have friends and family who want to help out, so see if you can organise some useful tasks that they can help with.
Regaining your independence and getting back to your normal life won't happen overnight, but heading home from the hospital is a great first step. Organising some in-home help and therapy visits can help you get home quicker and avoid having accidents that can set back recovery or even land you back in hospital.