Is your elderly mom or dad getting surgery that requires them to stay in the hospital for a few days? As their family caregiver, you need to help them pack an overnight bag that will allow them to enjoy the items that make them comfortable and calm. While hospitals do provide the most basic items for patients, like pillows and blankets, there are many things that elderly patients in particular cannot do without.
Here are 5 things that you need to include in your aging mom or dad’s hospital overnight bag:
1. Important medical documents.
It will be a lot less stressful for your parent and yourself if you already have an envelope filled with copies of key medical paperwork. Examples include copies of Medicare/Medicaid cards, insurance cards, and even power of attorney or living will documents. You can also include a list of current medications and doses, plus food or medicine allergies.
Hospitals just provide a hospital gown, but many people prefer to bring some clothes of their own, both for warmth and modesty. The best options are a few pairs of underwear, elastic waist pajama pants or shorts and a robe. Many seniors appreciate warm socks with rubber strips on the bottom to prevent slip and fall accidents on the tile floor. Of course, don’t forget a change of clothes for when they are discharged.
The hospital staff will provide very few toiletries so it’s important to bring everything they need to get by for the next several days. The main items include toothpaste and toothbrush, deodorant, comb or hairbrush, soap, shampoo, lotion, lip balm, and any denture needs. Similarly, seniors may need their reading glasses, hearing aid batteries, or other unique items. Avoid packing things like perfume, alcohol, cigarettes, and snack food.
4. Entertainment and Personal.
Hospital stays can be long when there’s just a television for entertainment. Some hospitals even ban electronic devices such as tablets and smartphones. You need to help your elderly parent get through the slow times with things like a book, magazine, crossword puzzle, or small hand craft, such as knitting. Small personal items can bring extra comfort. Common items include a family photo or other memento, favorite blanket or pillow.
It’s impossible to know exactly what an elderly hospital patient might need, so there are some good miscellaneous items to pack along. Ideas include some cash for vending machines and newspapers, notebook and pen, knit hat, extra adult briefs, and electronic device chargers.
When it comes to providing the best elderly care for health, hospitals are amazing. However, family caregivers often know best what their aging relative actually needs in their day to day routine. Packing their hospital overnight bag properly can bring a lot of relief to you and your elderly loved one.
If you or an aging loved one needs elderly care in Fair Oaks, CA, remember Senior Home Care Services. Call us at (916) 514-7006 for more information.