All the practical help and services the person you are caring for needs should be set up before they go home. This is usually done by the hospital or hospice staff, with a social worker. All hospitals and organisations have policies to make sure a person is safely discharged and the care they need at home has been organised.
The person you are caring for may have a holistic needs assessment before they go home. In the assessment, they will be asked lots of questions about how they are feeling and what help they need. This is to make sure that they get the right support, at the right time. Everyone involved in the person’s care should have a copy of the assessment, including their GP. You can ask the nurse about this.
If there are a lot of things to talk about before discharge, the ward or hospice staff may arrange a meeting. This may involve:
- the person with cancer and you, if you are their main carer
- the doctor in charge of their care
- specialist nurses
- an occupational therapist (OT)
- a social worker.
We have more information about health and social care professionals and how they can help you.
If you are the main carer, you should be involved in any plans or decisions. It’s important to let the healthcare team know this. Remember that plans can be changed later if the situation changes. For example, when the person first goes home, you may not need any help looking after them. But if they start to get weaker, they may need help with personal care, such as washing, dressing and eating.
The person you are caring for should have information from the hospital or hospice to take home. This may explain the medicines and type of diet they need, and where to get more support. If the information is not clear, ask the doctor or nurse for more details.
Make sure the person you are caring for has the medicines they need when they are discharged. You will need enough to last until the GP can arrange a new prescription. You can talk to the pharmacist about this.