Finding out that your loved one has been taken to hospital is a worrying and often an unexpected situation. If it does happen, it’s important to stay calm and to think about what you can do to make sure your loved one is comfortable and supported during this time.
Working Daughter has provided some helpful tips for this situation to better ease the process of dealing with a loved one in hospital.
Deciding whether to go or not to go
When the situation arises, it is imperative to consider whether it’s actually appropriate to visit your loved one at a level of immediacy.
If you’re living nearby it would make sense to rush to visit your loved one. However, when distance becomes a factor, work and personal commitments may aggravate the situation and it’s better to wait until a medical prognosis has taken place so you can think of an appropriate plan of action.
What to bring to Hospital
If you have decided to go in and visit your loved one, there are some things you can pack for them. For instance:
- Healthcare information and entitlement cards (Medicare, Safety Net, Veterans’ Affairs, Pensioner Health Card or Health Benefit Card, etc.)
- Current medications in original packaging (specifying dosage and times to take them). This is usually provided by the GP
- Doctors’ letters and x-ray/surgery scans related to their condition
- Personal care items: glasses, contact lenses, hearing aids, dentures etc.
- Comfortable clothing and toiletry items
- Fun items for your loved one to enjoy (books, drawing materials, knitting/sewing kits etc.). Try to make your loved ones as relaxed as can be throughout the process
- If you’re staying overnight bring the necessary clothing, toiletry and personal/work items you require
What you need to do at the Hospital
- Be proactive. The main priority is to seek the best care for your loved one. Consult the appropriate medical experts and ask for their opinions and their action plan
- Listen and ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to doctors and the medical staff, as being aware of the situation shows your initiative
- Support your loved one by listening to their needs first
- Inform family and friends. There may be others that are close to your loved one and sending them a mindful call or text informing them of the prognosis and action plan, calmly, is the most appropriate way to go about this. Discussing and delegating certain tasks with other close family members can help relieve the anxiety of the situation
If ever the case arises that your loved one is hospitalised, remember it’s completely understandable to feel distressed. However, following certain steps and remaining level headed can help ease the situation dramatically, and better ensure the wellbeing of you and your loved one.
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