Understanding Disability Needs After Leaving Hospital And Returning To Family Home

Wanda Rice

When you are going through a difficult time of injury and hospitalization, and then finally being discharged, there is no doubt that it can be a very traumatizing and anxious experience.

Being in a hospital, no matter how good you are being taken care of, can be a very disheartening experience as a wheelchair occupant. This is especially true if you were admitted due to a sudden or very serious illness, which placed your life in the hands of the professionals.

Returning home will evoke within you a sense of consideration for your new life. How has it now changed in comparison to before the illness? Do you now have disability needs you need to take care of? Are you able to complete your activities while living independently?

A study has shown that, especially with elderly people, when they return home with a newly acquired disability, they are more prone to being re-admitted if their disability needs are not met.

Depending on how severe your disability needs, your first responsibility should be to figure out and carry out a full assessment of need. Although you can do this by yourself, ideally it is best carried out by an occupational therapist.

Some insurance policies and healthcare plans offer this as part of their service to you. Some of the needs they might come up with for you might include the following:


Should you not be able to carry out some of the usual everyday tasks, you might be needing formal support. Depending on what you require, you might be visited by a home care worker on a daily basis. If your needs require long term care, then it should be organized around the needs of you and your family.

It is important that the schedule should be organized around your way of life. It is also important that expectations and requirements should be discussed ahead of time before the care program can be initiated.

It is not an easy thing to welcome a stranger into your home, especially if they have to be involved in your life in such an intimate manner. This could lead to immense frustration or can be viewed as a defeat against independence.

Although it might be difficult to understand why you have to give up that much of your independence, view it as someone who is there to help you make your life easier.


Equipment you might need in these circumstances could range from a wheelchair, a shower stool or a grab rail. It could also include more extensive purchases such as a hoist or a profiling bed. It is important to remember that all prescribed equipment is designed with the purpose and intention to increase comfort while minimizing any risk towards you or your caretaker.


When discharged from the hospital, coming home might not be as pleasant anymore as the house might not fit your needs anymore. If you came back with disability needs, you might feel especially frustrated with the stairs that used to take you upstairs but now only remind you of how your life will never be the same again.

A great solution would be to adapt the home towards accommodating the disability needs. Although there will be a couple of compromises, it can be accomplished. A small lift could be installed in the home and the bathroom could be redone to accommodate your disability.

One solution that is extremely beneficial is to carefully observe your patterns in the house and accordingly design a solution.

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