Help pack a million meals for struggling seniors on 9-11. Volunteer today

Most Popular


You May
Also Like

to READ.



Providing Care

Handling a Hospitalization

Planning ahead for a more manageable experience

Article Highlights

  • Plan Ahead
  • Ask Questions
  • Make a list

Before the discharge, write down the name and phone number of the discharge planner and any physicians involved in your loved one's care. Also write down any instructions regarding medications, home health equipment, diet, exercise and follow-up appointments. Ask what symptoms or side effects should be expected and when you should call a physician.

Also inquire about services that can help you provide care in your loved one's home or your own. Find out early on if your loved one's insurance will cover the cost of an in-home nurse, home hospice care or other service recommended by hospital staff.

If at any time you feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable with the discharge plan, speak candidly with the discharge planner. Medicare's Planning for Your Discharge checklist can help you and your relative ensure that you have all the information you need before leaving the hospital.

Make a list of everything that needs to get done in the days and weeks ahead, and enlist friends', relatives' and community members' help.

Don't forget to take care of yourself, too. You'll need plenty of rest and time to de-stress in order to remain a caregiver.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Reading eyeglasses eyemed 6 membership benefit health

Members save 25% on orders of $200 or more and get free basic lenses at

Prescription medication spilling out of bottle

Members get a free Rx discount card from AARP® Prescription Discounts provided by Catamaran.

grocery coupon center member benefit aarp

Members can print savings coupons at the Grocery Coupon Center powered by

Caregiving walking

Caregiving can be a lonely journey, but AARP offers resources that can help.