Pre-surgery consultation - what should I be asking

Apologies for asking another question so soon after my last one, but it seems that my mum (86, blind, lives alone with great difficulty) is going to need abdominal surgery. We have a consultation tomorrow and while it will of course be mainly about the medical side I would like to aIso raise the issue of mum’s after care. In the past we have had the experience of her being sent home from hospital in a totally unfit and dependent state and without adequate care, leaving us to scramble around to get help and eventually having to have her readmitted.

Does anyone have advice for me on how best to handle the topic of after care in this initial discussion and what I should be asking? Her home is very unsuitable as a place to recuperate (no downstairs bedroom or bathroom) and the ideal would be for her to go to a nursing home or rehab ward of some sort but I don’t suppose there is a huge chance of that…

Thank very much for any tips.

A potential UNSAFE hospital discharge ?

The BIBLE … treat it like a tick list … ALL bits ticked ?

Being discharged from hospital - NHS

In short , by the book or … NO discharge.

CHC / NHS Continuing Healthcare … not to be dismissed :

If one doesn’t ask , one doesn’t get ???

Thank you very much Chris. I am working my way through the documents. Forewarned is forearmed and all that…

Your welcome.

Meet with the doctors and ask them for advice. Can they request a needs assessment on your behalf or not?

What sort of surgery? I had a major op and it took me 3 years to get totally better. Insist that mum goes to a nursing home to recuperate. She may never be well enough to go home again.

Just in case it’s need … reablement care :

Care after illness or hospital discharge (reablement) - NHS

A non comprehensive list of questions to ask:

What sort of side effects can I expect? Ask about all types of side effects, including uncommon ones too. Make short notes during the consult. Bring a pen. Also remember to ask questions. Knowing what to expect will definitely help. Remember the pre operation assessment is a opportunity to discuss all aspects of the post surgery hospital stay. Why is this procedure required? Tell me about the risks. Are there any benefits of this op?

How long will her recovery period be? Find out if there are any instructions for special care or not. Also ask about her mobility as well. What can I expect in terms of moods etc? How do I support her? Get their names if possible. Use a diary to record all important information. Learn as much as possible. Trust me, it will help you feel more in control.

What is the visiting policy like? Find out about times and so on when you can visit her. You can plan/time your visit using this important information. Make a note of it. Additionally, sort out travel arrangements for her. Prepare her as much as possible for her upcoming operation. Pack things accordingly. The night before my son was admitted to hospital for his clubfeet surgery, I stuffed lots of items into my hospital bag which included a charger, a pen, a couple of books and so on. Also pack clothes.

Don’t forget her appointment letters either. Take photocopies just in case.

For more information, read this article

Hope this is useful!

Thank you everyone. This is extremely helpful. I have added all your suggestions to my own list of questions. We are seeing the doctor today so your advice is very timely.
Thank you so much!

How was the appointment today?

Old thread, locked for usual reasons.