I have a dear friend who went into the hospital for a hip replacement and never came out. It is very important to do lots of advance planning prior to a stay at a hospital.
- If possible, have someone stay with you in the hospital.
- Designate an emergency contact tin advance
- You might want to prepare a notebook so that you bring all of the right medical documents such as a list of your medications, and healthcare providers. You will also need your legal documents such as your power of attorney, designated health care proxy, health care directives etc. In addition it is necessary to bring your insurance cards and related insurance information. These can all be packed in a suitcase and left there in case a trip to the hospital is needed.
- Pack books and any leisure activities you enjoy such as knitting, or art supplies, lap top computer, pajamas, toiletries, comfortable clothes and slip on sneakers.
- Ensure that all household tasks are taken care of such as pet care, gardening, watering of household plants and house cleaning. You will also need to arrange for stoppage of the newspaper. You may want to arrange with a neighbor to do a daily check on your property and to get the mail, pick up of packages. If necessary, you may need to arrange for someone to pay your bills while away.
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The Orlando Senior Help Desk at the Jewish Pavilion (407-678-9363) helps thousands of callers navigate their way through the daunting senior maze, alleviating caregiver stress while giving advice on all types of elder issues. www.OrlandoSeniorHelpDesk.org