What can you do for your recovery?

After surviving sepsis, life may not be the same. Many patients feel very weak, listless and unable to cope. Some are dependent on the help of others for a long period of time. All this is quite normal, because the body needs a lot of time to regenerate.

Give yourself adequate time.

We have put together some tips to help you cope with your changed daily life despite everything:

  • Start with small steps. Challenge yourself, but do not overdo it. Even small activities will lead you to continuously increase your resilience.
  • Allow yourself rest breaks, as these are just as important for your body as exercise.
  • Increase your activities slowly but steadily.
  • Ensure a balanced sleep and wake rhythm.
  • Say goodbye to unrealistic goals.
  • Adjust your daily routine to the changed life situation.
  • Increase self-control over your life and daily routine, but allow for help.
  • Forgive yourself for mistakes.
  • Did you have to spend a long time in an intensive care unit and can no longer remember this stay? If you want to better understand and come to terms with your time there, it can be helpful to visit the ICU again and have the staff explain the equipment and aids to you.

Despite long recovery periods, many former sepsis patients do not regain the physical and mental capacity they had before the illness. But a whole series of reports show that those affected have learned to accept the changes and build their lives on the new foundation.

Be proud of what you have already achieved.

What support can you apply for?

After sepsis, you or your loved one may need support. This text is intended to give you a brief overview of existing support. For further questions, you can contact Mr. Leisgang or the office of DSH.

Severe Disability Law

After surviving sepsis, a disability could exist according to the definition in § 2 SGB IX. This would be the case if the physical function, mental ability or mental health deviates from the condition typical for the age for more than six months with a high probability and therefore the participation in life in society is impaired.

Whether you or your relative has a degree of disability (GdB), and if so, which degree, is determined by the competent authorities.

Reports of findings submitted with the application will speed up the procedure. The pension office may also request to inspect, for example, the findings of the treating doctors and discharge reports from the hospital. In individual cases, medical assessments are carried out at the pension office. The medical service of the competent authorities or an expert will evaluate the documents in accordance with the Ordinance on Medical Care (VersMedV).

On this basis, the authority decides on the existence of a disability, the degree of disability and on the corresponding mark (letter in the severely disabled person's identity card which gives an indication of the type of impairment).

Information & help:

Please inform yourself about this and the application procedure on the respective websites. You can find it here: (enter the following in the search field: ‘Pension offices and competent authorities’)

If several disabilities are determined, a total GdB is formed. A notice of assessment is issued if the total GdB is at least 20. If the total GdB is less than 20, neither a decision nor a certificate is issued. You can find more information on the GdB, the characteristic signs and the associated compensations for disadvantages on the website of your competent office.

If you do not agree with the decision on your disability, you can lodge an appeal. The legal deadline (within one month after the notification of the decision) must be observed. The objection must be made in writing and must be substantiated.


The official procedure is free of charge.

Care Law

For the purposes of social long-term care insurance, whether and to what extent a person is in need of care is determined by the degree of independence and the abilities the person still possesses in the following areas:

  • Mobility
  • Cognitive and communicative abilities
  • Behavioural and psychological problems
  • Self-care
  • Coping with and independently dealing with demands and stresses caused by illness or therapy
  • Shaping everyday life and social contacts

Before you apply for home care together with your caregiver, you should check whether you are entitled to a care level.

The person in need of long-term care's statutory or private health insurance is responsible for long-term care insurance - this is where the application for long-term care should be submitted. In the case of an initial application, you are entitled to a long-term care counselling session within two weeks of submitting the application. If you wish, the counselling can take place at your home.

After the application has been submitted, the expert from the Medical Service of the Health Insurance (MDK) will visit you to determine the need for care and the care level.

Be sure to indicate on the application that the appointment will be coordinated with you.

Information & help:

When you have completed the individual modules under, the number of points achieved and the corresponding care level will be displayed. It is advisable to document (print out) the individual module entries for a later MDK assessment.

How does the MDK visit work and how do you prepare?

It makes sense that the person who mainly provides the care and, if necessary, the carer or authorised representative are present at the assessment. Together, you give the assessor information about the care situation in everyday life - for example, what can still be done independently, where there are difficulties and where help is needed. Present current medical reports, medication overviews and any care documentation from a care service. Think in advance about the questions you have for the expert. You should never "pull yourself together" during the MDK visit and trivialise or conceal problems out of false shame. If you keep a care diary before the MDK visit or fill out the questionnaire "Care assessment in the home environment", you will gain more clarity yourself about the circumstances and effort of the care. This way you are well prepared for the MDK visit.

Information & help:

You can find more information on the MDK homepage

Has a care level been recognised?

Then you can choose between care allowance and benefits in kind or a combination of both from care level 2. For more information on the care level and possible services, go to: (go to → Service → Publications → Care).

Preventive care

You care for your relative at home and are prevented from doing so, for example because of a holiday or illness? Then the long-term care insurance fund currently pays a maximum of 1,612 euros from care level 2 for a maximum of six weeks a year to continue to provide care at home.

If close family members take over the preventive care, they receive 1.5 times the care allowance for up to six weeks.

Short-term care

Short-term care is available for longer absences of the caregiver, for example during a cure or a holiday. The person in need of care can then be accommodated in a facility that offers short-term care places - also in a rehabilitation clinic if the person in need of care is participating in a rehabilitation measure there.

Short-term care may also be necessary if the transition to home care has to be arranged following a hospital stay. The long-term care insurance benefit is available to all persons in need of long-term care with care levels 2 to 5 in the same amount. The amount of the benefit is currently up to 1,612 euros per year for up to eight weeks per calendar year.

Time off work for carers

Under certain conditions, carers can take partial or full leave from their work to temporarily devote themselves to caring tasks. More detailed information can be found on the website of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.

Information & help:

You will get more information about care on the web pages of the Federal Ministry of Health.

Nursing aids

Nursing aids are devices and materials that are necessary for home care. They facilitate care and alleviate the complaints of the person in need of care or contribute to enabling him or her to lead a more independent life.

  • Technical care aids are usually provided by the long-term care insurance fund in part or against a co-payment.
  • Consumable products, e.g. disposable gloves, bed pads or disinfectants, must be purchased by the person in need of care. He or she receives a reimbursement from the long-term care insurance fund of currently up to 40 euros per month at all care levels (1-5).

Information & help:

Family care time supports relatives in reconciling care and work.

Other help

Housing assistance

Housing assistance is financial support for the purchase, furnishing or maintenance of a home suitable for the disabled. Different service providers may be responsible, e.g. long-term care insurance funds, accident insurance funds, pension insurance funds and the Employment Agency, but also the Integration Office. Furthermore, there are housing assistance programmes of the individual federal states.

An important tip on how to proceed: First get advice, then submit the application and wait for approval. If you rebuild first and then apply, you are not entitled to financial support.

Information & help:

Further information on nursing aids

Motor vehicle assistance

You may need to purchase or convert a vehicle or incur costs for a driving licence. The Motor Vehicle Assistance Ordinance regulates corresponding benefits.

What does a health care proxy, care proxy and living will mean?

This text briefly explains the terms health care proxy, care proxy and living will. It is advisable for everyone to think about issuing these documents while they are still healthy and to discuss the contents with their family and possible proxies. This is the only way to ensure that in the event of illness, action is taken in the patient's best interests and legal and financial matters can continue.

  • Health care proxy – as a health care proxy, you can specify who may manage your affairs and make decisions for you if you are no longer able to do so yourself. It makes sense to write the power of attorney in as much detail as possible. A neutral person should testify that the person concerned is in full possession of his or her mental faculties at the time the power of attorney is granted.
  • Care proxy – if a person suddenly needs care and there is no health care proxy, relatives are not allowed to conclude legal transactions on behalf of the person to be cared for. The guardianship court then appoints a legal guardian. This is subject to a fee. However, if it is decided in advance through a care proxy who is going to take over the legal guardianship in case of need, the guardianship court is bound by this decision.
  • Living will – with a living will, you can specify what may be done medically if you are no longer able to express yourself on this, or if you can no longer give your consent.

Information & help:

Further information can be found here.