At some point, family caregivers must prepare for their elderly relative to spend some time at a hospital. It can be hard for a senior to stay away from their home for more than a night, so many patients bring a small bag or suitcase of items to make their stay more comfortable. They also pack essentials that they need to get through the upcoming days.
Family caregivers are responsible for their loved one’s needs, so they usually do the packing for the overnight hospital bag. Because there are so many things that an elderly person needs, how can a family caregiver know what to pack? It’s helpful to follow a checklist so that nothing important is left out.
Of course, a checklist is just a guideline, but here are some of the basic things that elderly adults may need for the hospital.
- Pajama bottoms to provide warmth and modesty with a hospital gown
- Robe, cardigan or zip-up hoodie for extra warmth
- A few extra pair of underwear
- Socks with non-slip strips on the bottom
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Denture accessories
- Glasses, hearing aides or similar devices
- Copies of all health insurance cards, Medicare/Medicaid cards and similar information
- Photo ID of the elderly patient
- List of current medications and their dosages
- List of any allergies to food or medication
- List of phone numbers for family members and primary care doctors
- Small entertainment items like books, magazines, crossword puzzles or word searches
- Music player and headphones
- E-reader or tablet, plus chargers
- Notebook and writing instrument for taking notes
There are all kinds of individual items that an elderly person might need for their health and well-being and a family caregiver can quickly assemble what they want and need in the overnight bag. Preparing a bag ahead of time will also help an elderly care provider, in the event they are the ones accompanying the senior to the hospital.
Many hospitals and surgery centers have specific items that they prefer their patients to leave at home. A few of these items are even banned. Family caregivers should look over the recommended items before packing so they don’t inadvertently bring something for their elderly loved one that shouldn’t be there.
Some of the most common items that aren’t welcome in a hospital include:
- Alcohol, tobacco and drugs
- Anything in an aerosol container, such as hair spray
- Glass bottles or mirrors
- Wallet or purse
- Cash that totals more than a few dollars
- Matches and lighters
- Musical instruments, radios or speakers for music players
- Personal appliances with cords, such as hair dryers
Whether the hospital stay is planned or a surprise, many family caregivers have appreciated having an overnight bag ready to go. When adult children need to be at the hospital to support their loved ones, they shouldn’t have to stress over the overnight bag as well. An elderly care provider can provide care in a hospital setting also, when family and friends can’t be there. They can offer respite for the tired family caregiver, ambulatory support, companionship and more. Consider an elderly care provider at the end of a hospital stay also, where they can begin care and continue to offer it when your senior loved one goes home.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING IN-HOME ELDERLY CARE IN LAS VEGAS, NV, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE. CALL TODAY 702-800-4616.