As people get older and sicker, they may find themselves going to the hospital more frequently - either for planned appointments or emergencies. Being prepared for these visits can go a long way towards making them less stressful.
Here is a list of things to remember:
- A copy of your health care proxy,
- A copy of your HIPAA release,
- A copy of a Do Not Resuscitate Order if you have one,
- Health insurance cards (Medicare, Medicaid, supplemental insurance)
- Glasses, hearing aids, dentures,
- Supply of medication, list of medications and dosages, any allergies,
- Slippers or socks with rubber soles,
- Robe, PJs or nightgown,
- Toiletry items,
- Ear plugs,
- Telephone card and small amount of cash for incidentals.
If you can, leave jewelry and other valuables at home.
One other tip, make sure the telephone is next to your bed. I was recently trying to contact a client in the hospital (I am his Health Care Proxy so I needed to speak with him) and he wasn't picking up his phone. I called the nurses station to find out what was wrong. It turned out that his telephone was across the room. Since he couldn't get out of bed, he couldn't answer the telephone. They moved his telephone, and I could finally get through.
If you haven't updated your health care proxy in a few years, don't have a HIPAA release so that your doctors can talk to your family members about your condition, or just want to get your affairs in order before going to the hospital, call my office at 781-749-2284 for an appointment.