When a loved one is in the hospital, keeping track of everything is difficult but critically important. To best advocate for them and ensure a smooth transition back home, be prepared.
For the Short Term:
- In the Hospital:
- Do you have a journal to document the key information you receive during the hospital stay?
- Do you have the doctors’ names and phone numbers?
- Did you bring all the medications your loved one is taking or have a detailed list?
- Have you prepared a list of questions for nurses/doctors prior to daily meetings with them?
- Have you generated a list of questions relevant to returning home?
- Is it your loved one’s wish to recuperate or age at home and is the home prepared?
- Do you need: walker, wheelchair, cane, handles, monitors, medication managers etc…..
- Should the bedroom be on the main floor?
- Is the bathroom safe for any new mobility limitations?
- Do you have neighbors who can be called to help in emergencies?
- Does your loved one need a caregiver at home for daily visits or 24 hour or live-in care?
- Will family members provide ongoing hands-on care at home if needed?
- Is a professional caregiver or Personal Support Worker needed?
- If needed, is there a bed and a bathroom for a live-in caregiver to use?
- Have you contacted and signed up with a caregiving firm to ensure quick support when needed?
For the Long Term:
- Is your wish to age at home as long as possible and have you prepared for that?
- Has a full Living Will been discussed or prepared?
- Have the Powers of Attorney (POAs) for Care and Property been determined? Are those documents in the right hands?
- Have your wishes been discussed with your family, doctor, lawyer and POAs?
- Has a Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR) been discussed and prepared if desired?
- If a couple is aging at home together, have you considered what happens to one if the other is hospitalized? Consider what happens if the healthiest spouse falls ill.
- If you’re out of town, and a loved one needs help, is there a contingency care plan?
If you have any questions about any of these concerns, please call us.