Even the most prepared family caregiver isn’t going to be prepared for the medical emergency that requires them to get their elderly loved one to the hospital right away. It makes things much easier if an overnight hospital bag has been prepared in advance, waiting until such an occasion where it can be grabbed and taken along.
When aging adults rely on help from family caregivers and senior care providers, a pre-packed hospital bag for them can make a stressful and worrisome time just a little bit easier. So what kinds of things should go into a senior’s hospital bag?
Preparation Now Saves Hassle Later
Family caregivers work hard to give their elderly relative the ideal amount of care and companionship, looking out for their physical and mental health needs. However, with age there is an increase in the likelihood that seniors will have a medical emergency that requires a visit to the hospital, usually with a night or two of staying over. An overnight bag that contains the essentials they need to have a comfortable and easy stay can be packed up ahead of time and then stored until it is necessary.
Family caregivers and home health care providers can work together to pack an overnight bag that either of them can grab and go should the aging adult need to get to the hospital in a hurry. The bag ought to be sturdy, roomy and have a shoulder strap, so the family caregiver or home health care provider can have their hands free as needed to assist the aging adult during the emergency.
Items for a Hospital Overnight Bag
The first thing family caregivers should gather for the overnight bag is proper documents. It can be impossible to track down the important paperwork in the middle of an emergency. Instead, making copies and including them in the bag can eliminate frustration and hassle. Family caregivers should make copies of insurance cards, Medicare cards, driver’s license and any other insurance-related info. It’s also smart to include an elderly loved one’s medical history notes, from the contact info of the doctor to a current list of medications, plus dosages.
Other items that should be in a hospital overnight bag are more for the comfort and care of the elderly relative. Sweaters, socks and underwear are essentials for a hospital stay. Many seniors will need their unique toiletries like a hairbrush, toothbrush, deodorant, lip balm, lotion and more. Must-have items like glasses and hearing aid batteries need to find a place in the bag as well. Of course, there should be numerous entertainment options within a good overnight bag, such as a good book, tablet, or hand-held hobby like crocheting.
Any family caregiver that wants to reduce their stress levels on the inevitable day their loved one must stay at the hospital overnight. Instead of being caught off guard, family caregivers and home health care providers can have the resources they need at their fingertips.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Health Care Services in Cambridge MA, or anywhere in Eastern Massachusetts, please call the caring staff at CARE Resolutions – (508) 906-5572.