Preparing Family Caregivers For the Transition to Home: Elements for Health Care Providers




This is a list of recommended elements of any discharge to home. Review how your organization handles discharges to home: are all these elements included? Is the method effective (is the way you share this information working)?

Before the patient and family caregiver leave the hospital (or rehab program), make sure that they have information about:

  • Date/reason for admission
  • Summary of stay
    • Current status/disposition
    • What tests were done/results/results still pending
    • Procedures/surgeries/ rehabilitation done
  • Date/time of discharge
  • Diagnoses (all)
  • Medications (comprehensive list, including OTCs, supplements and herbals)
  • Transportation arrangements to home (including phone number)
  • Medical equipment needed at home
  • Exercises and physical/occupational therapy follow-up
  • Home care services
    • CHHA
    • Community services
  • Foods and diet
  • Activity restrictions
  • Medical test results still pending
    • When due
    • Who to call for results
  • Appointments
  • Name and number to call with medical questions
  • Caregiver’s questions answered?

“Going Home: A Guide for Family Caregivers” (available at or other comprehensive checklist can help family caregivers understand and recall essential discharge information.

All Next Step in Care materials are available for free at
in English, Spanish, Russian, and traditional Chinese.

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