Sometimes you will know in advance that you are going into hospital, and that it is likely you'll need support with certain things when you go home again. This is particularly the case if you are having a planned operation, such as a hip replacement.
It is worth thinking about what you will need to do before you go into hospital
Who will hold the fort whilst you are away?
Think about who will look after any pets, check your property, and pick up your post whilst you are away.
If no-one you know will be able to do this for you then your local council may be able to help in the "Looking after your home whilst you are in hospital" section below.
Will you need some extra help when you get home?
If you are likely to need help with tasks such as shopping and cooking, or washing and dressing yourself when you go home, then think about whether there are any relatives or friends who could help.
You can also have a look at our Staying in your own home section for other ideas on how you can get the support you need.
Depending on your situation, you may be referred for an assessment from the hospital social work team whilst you are in hospital to see whether you are eligible for support from your local council (see below for more details).
Do you look after someone else?
If you look after another person, then think about who will be able to take over this role whilst you are away, and how much you will be able to do when you come home.
Remember that you and the person you look after may be entitled to support from your local council - there is no need for you to delay or cancel your medical treatment in order to look after someone else.
Go to our section on Looking after someone for details on how to get the extra help you need.