Life happens and we can not always determine when we may need to be hospitalized. Illnesses, injuries or accidents often land us in the hospital. If your situation allows for planning for your hospital stay, we have some helpful ideas that may make the stay more bearable. Keeping your stay in the hospital as stress free as possible will ensure a quicker healing and faster return home.
Choose An Advocate
We always think we have prepared to the fullest but often situations arise that require another opinion or set of eyes. Choosing a trusted loved one or friend to act as your advocate is a smart decision. They will be able to monitor your care, ask any questions or take notes as needed. You may not be able to make decisions so an advocate or representative is ideal. Your trusted person may be able to spend the night if needed. They can be there as your support person for helping with scheduling follow up appointments as well, once you are released.
If you know ahead of your hospital stay, there is no time like the present to start planning. Talk with your doctor and family to determine all of your needs. Your doctor will be able to answer any questions you have about your procedure, hospital stay, medications, follow up appointments or advise you on any other questions. You will want to figure out how you will get to and from the hospital. Do you have pets or family members that depend on your help? Planning for their care or needs ahead of time will alleviate any worry for you while you are in the hospital. Will you need care when you go home? This is the time to talk about those arrangements. A good idea if you are able is to prepare some meals ahead for your return. Having a meal to pop out of the freezer and into the oven is a great idea! Alternatively, have some friends or a meal provider handle helping you after your hospital stay. If you think you may need assistive devices for your return home, ask your healthcare provider or family members to help with arranging delivery of these items.
Bring The Comfort Of Home
Having familiar items in your hospital room can help cheer you up. Most hospitals will allow you to bring items from home for your stay. Bring items like a warm blanket, your own pajamas, your own toiletries or a favorite photo. Having your own items will help you relax and heal. There are other important items not to forget as well. Make sure to bring your cellphone (or a list of important contact numbers). You may also want to bring a book, crossword puzzle or if you have a tablet you could download some movies or music ahead of time to help you pass the time. (Don’t forget your earbuds to ensure you don’t disturb the other patients).
For more information on preparing for a hospital stay, please click here.