Going Home
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​Preparing for your recovery at home

Hospital stays are generally short as your home is a healthier place to recover. People tend to eat, sleep and heal better at home. The role of the health care team in hospital is to get you moving and resuming your daily activities as soon as possible so you can return home and recover in a familiar environment. Your health care team will provide discharge instructions and go over everything you need to know when you leave the hospital. Before you leave, ask about:

  • signs or symptoms you might expect
  • what is normal
  • what is a cause for concern
  • what you should do if you are concerned
  • any other questions, worries or needs you may have

If you need additional services such as rehabilitation or home nursing care, this will be arranged before you go home. You may be given a prescription that your support person can fill at a pharmacy.

Your family doctor will receive reports from the surgeon so they can provide appropriate ongoing care.

Leaving the hospital

  • Make sure you plan your ride home in advance. Discharge usually occurs around 10:00AM so make sure your ride is at the hospital before you are ready to leave.
  • On your way home you may wish to fill prescriptions and pick up any equipment that you will require at your house ie cane, walker, wheelchair.

Preparing your home

Before you head home think about the following:

  • Will you be able to get around your home after surgery? Are you able to get to the bedroom, kitchen and bathroom without using stairs?
  • If you live alone, do you have someone spending some time with you at your house? Depending on the operation you may be told to have someone stay the night or several days after your surgery.
  • Do you have all the supports you will need in place? Do you need an aid to help you with shopping, driving, or personal care?

If you are unsure how to answer any of these questions talk with your health care team to see what resources are available to you.


Surgery can take a lot out of you and your body will need time to recover. You will want to get a good amount of sleep every night and may need to take small breaks to rest or nap throughout the day. However, it is important to note that resting all day is likely not the best way to help your body recover. Listen closely to your surgeon and/or nursing staff when they explain what level of activity is best for you while recovering at home.

Taking medication

It is important that you take your medication as instructed. Even if you are not in pain it is advised that you take pain medication as it is prescribed. Waiting for the pain to return before you take your medication can lead to unneeded pain and stress on your body.


As a step towards reconciliation, Interior Health acknowledges the land that we live, work, and play on as the traditional territories of the Dakelh Dene, Ktunaxa, Nlaka’pamux, Secwepemc, St’at’imc, Syilx and Tsilhqot’in peoples. It is with humility that we continue to strengthen our relationships with the First Nation, Métis, and Inuit peoples of the interior.
MoH     PCQO