HOW TO SURVIVE A HOSPITAL STAY
THINGS TO BRING WITH YOU, or not TO THE HOSPITAL
1. POWER OF ATTORNEY – Make sure the hospital has copies of the patient’s healthcare durable power of attorney that states who will make decisions if the patient can no longer do so for themselves.
2. CONTACT INFORMATION – of family or involved loved ones
3. MEDICATION LIST – Make sure the hospital has the patient’s current list of all the medications your loved one takes.
4. MEDICAL HISTORY
If possible, bring a list of surgeries, doctors, previous tests run (and results) and diagnoses.
5. REMOVE ALL VALUABLES – Do not leave valuables with your loved one at the hospital
6. PERSONAL ITEMS – Things that are good to have are glasses, hearing aids and dentures, but be careful with them! If you leave items such as glasses, a cane, a walker, or dentures, make sure they are labeled and also listed in the patient’s chart on the “personal belongings” sheet.
BEING AN ADVOCATE
1- PEOPLE TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH — Make friends with the discharge planner
- Get to know the nurses
2. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF – Make sure the caregivers / advocates are taking good care of themselves during the hospital stay.
3. HIRE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE – An advocate such as a geriatric care manager knows how to navigate the medical system. They are invaluable. You can search for the closest Professional Geriatric Care Manager on www.AgingPro.com’s Eldercare Directory.
9 THINGS YOU NEED WHEN YOU LEAVE THE HOSPITAL:
Before your loved one leaves the hospital, make sure you have:
1. An understanding of your loved one’s condition and diagnosis, results of any tests, and any changes that have happened as a result of treatment during the hospital stay
2. A written medication list (including dosage and potential side effects)
3. A written list of any needed follow-up physicians visits
4. An understanding of any problems or symptoms that may occur when the patient gets home – what to look for and when to call for help.
5. A written care plan with next steps
6. Any special equipment to prepare the home for your loved one’s return (hospital bed, home modification, rental equipment)
7. Arrangements for home health care or home care aid services- find out what services insurance will and will not cover
8. Education on any special needs your loved one may have when she arrives home
9. Transportation home, or wherever your loved one will be going. Find out if insurance will pay for an ambulance, if necessary.