It may surprise carers and relatives that discharge planning often starts as soon as the person has been admitted. This does not mean the patient is being discharged immediately but that plans towards a successful discharge start by information gathering about the persons individual circumstances. For example if the person lives alone or has dependent children at home this will be considered as part of the discharge planning by the hospital team.
Carers and relatives should always be involved in the discharge plans provided the person who has had the stroke gives consent or the carer/relative acting on their behalf is next of kin. Knowledge of the persons home and social situation should be documented. For example if the person lives in a remote area or in accommodation with stairs but no lift this may influence possible return home . The facilities available at home should also be checked.
Once the person has made some recovery and the progress of treatment is clear or if further recovery in hospital is not likely but the patients environment can be adapted for their needs, a home visit may be considered. Most but not all stroke patients will have a home visit during their hospital stay if it is appropriate.