No one enjoys having to go to the hospital. But elderly individuals may find themselves going there more frequently than they did when they were younger due to medical conditions, increased falling risks, and other reasons. Already a stressful situation, going to the hospital can become even more nerve-racking if you need to bring your elderly loved one there for an unplanned emergency visit.
Knowing of the increased potential for a hospital visit — whether planned or not — it is helpful to prepare ahead of time. One way to do this is by packing a hospital bag for your loved ones and having it ready. That way, if a hospital visit ever comes up, what is often a trying time becomes at least a bit less stressful and a little easier to handle.
The point of packing a hospital bag is to have everything your elderly loved one needs put away and ready to go. If you get to the hospital and find that your senior relative doesn’t have the necessary supplies and items, then it can be frustrating. But with the following hospital bag checklist for the elderly, you can make sure your elderly loved one’s hospital bag is packed with everything they need.
To avoid going back to hospital after discharge, learn about these Main Causes For Hospital Readmissions
1.Important Documents and Paperwork
When a person is being admitted to the hospital, a lot of information needs to be taken down and recorded, including birthdate, medical history, and insurance information. But you can make this process easier by taking note of it all beforehand and compiling it on a personal information sheet.
On the information sheet, include basic personal information like the person’s full name, preferred name, birthdate, medical conditions and illnesses, disabilities/impairments if any, necessary medications and instructions for them, and allergies. Additionally, provide contact information for family members, emergency contacts, and doctors.
Aside from the information sheet, include copies of the person’s identification card, insurance cards, Medicare/Medicaid cards, and advance health care directives. Store all these documents and copies together in a folder for safe keeping and easy organization.
2. Comfy Clothing
When the elderly individual is ready to be discharged from the hospital, make sure that they have a change of clothes to dress in for the transition back home. It would be best to pack comfy clothes that are easy to change into so that there isn’t too much of a fuss or struggle. Also, pack extra underwear and non-slip socks that seniors can change into daily throughout the course of their hospital stay, and bring a laundry bag to store dirty clothing until they can be cleaned at home.
4. Toiletries, and Personal Care Items
While the hospital likely has things like toothbrushes, toothpaste, lotions, and other similar personal care items available, you may find it better to pack your senior relative’s own personal products. Having your own everyday products can provide seniors with some familiarity and comfort during what can be an uneasy time in the hospital. So, take the time to gather the person’s hairbrush/comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion, and other contents.
Hospital stays can last for a few hours or a few days. In some situations, it might even be a few weeks. When the hospital visit is unplanned, you’ll go in unsure of how long of a stay it will be. For longer visits, the patient will especially need something to help occupy themselves and pass the time.
When packing a hospital bag for an elderly individual, include things that they enjoy and bring them comfort. If they enjoy listening to music, include a Bluetooth speaker and/or earphones and some sort of music player. If they like to read, bring a book or two. You could even consider bringing a photo of their loved ones that can be kept in the hospital room. This can be especially comforting for the senior if their family and friends cannot come see them.
Professional After Surgery Care Services from Assisting Hands Home Care
Following a stay in a hospital, whether it is for a surgery or something else, a full recovery depends on how well a person takes care of themselves. But this can be a tough thing to do without someone around to help out, especially when the person returning from the hospital is an elderly individual. When someone in recovery overworks themselves and doesn’t prioritize their care, this can easily lead to a setback that causes them to be readmitted to the hospital.
Assisting Hands Home Care can help elderly individuals and other people following their stay in a hospital through the after surgery care services we offer in Matteson, Mokena, Frankfort, Bourbonnais, Crete, IL, and the neighboring areas. Within these services, our professional caregivers will provide quality home care that ensures your elderly loved one can focus on themselves and make a complete recovery. This home care can include help with activities of daily living, light housekeeping tasks, meal preparation, and more.
With after-surgery care from Assisting Hands, you can feel at ease knowing that your senior loved one has the home care and assistance they need following a hospital stay.
Planning discharge from hospital back home? Check out these Items To Have At Home When Recovering From Surgery