How to support a loved one in hospital during lockdown

You’ve heard the heart-wrenching stories. One of the toughest parts of lockdown is supporting a loved one who’s unwell and in hospital. Ryan, one of our hospital gurus, shows you how to be there for a loved one when you’re locked down.

Who can you talk to at the hospital?

The person in charge of your loved one’s care is their treating doctor.

In this difficult time, you may be able to request a conference call with the doctor and your loved one.

Who is the treating doctor?

  • Surgeon for elective surgery (usually). If there is a change in care type, for example undergoing rehab, their surgeon is still in charge however they will also have a doctor on ward you can call.
  • At a public hospital, you can chat to the doctor in charge of their care (every patient has a doctor assigned to their care).

What is ‘home care’?

Home care through My Aged Care or the NDIS supports people after a hospital admission. Home care can help with showering, daily support, shopping, cleaning and even simple healthcare to ensure that patients transition well back into their homes.

Who can help you access home care?

The social worker at the hospital is the expert on community services who look at what services might be available to support you and look after you and your loved one’s wellbeing. Social workers can help organise a home care assessment (or reassessment, for people already on a care package that might need adjustment).

What is a discharge plan?

This sets out how each patient with specific medical needs can leave hospital and transition safely back home. No surprise that you get your discharge plan from the hospital’s Discharge Planner (also called a Continuing Care Coordinator). Discharge planners can chat about what your loved one needs to be comfortable and safe at home, and look at which hospital or support services from the hospital or public system should be used.

Inpatient vs outpatient

Often it is difficult to know when inpatient care ends and when outpatient and transitional care starts. If you are confused about what services might be available, how they are funded and what the plan is for your loved one, always feel free to talk to the health care professionals at the hospital.

See Love knowing who pays for an explanation of what inpatient vs outpatient means for your wallet.

If you would like to know exactly how Peoplecare can help, please give us a call on 1800 808 690.