After several trips to the hospital with a loved one this month, I have some tips for helping your loved one through a hospital stay. Today lets talk about the two things you absolutely must do before taking your loved one to the emergency room. Everything else can wait, but these two things will make your life easier during your hospital stay.
1. Grab a phone charger
Your phone is your lifeline while at the hospital with a loved one. Whether staying for just a few hours or for several days, this is the one item you cannot live without. You will want to be in touch with family members and friends keeping them updated, making calls to coordinate help at home, calling to cancel appointments, school and/or work, and so much more. If you have a smartphone, you will also be googling all the scary terms the doctors throw at you, killing time playing online while your loved one rests, taking notes, paying bills, etc. You will be so thankful for that phone charger!
2. Make sure someone has access to your home.
Do you have a neighbor with an extra key to your house? A friend or family member living close by with one?
If not, consider hiding a key before leaving for the emergency room. Should you end up staying at the hospital for an extended time this will be a lifesaver!
Has it been 12 hours since you left and the dog needs to go out? Staying overnight at the hospital and need a change of clothes? Did you leave wet clothes in the washing machine? Maybe a friend is getting your kids off the bus and taking them to soccer, and needs to grab soccer gear from the garage.
If your loved one gets admitted to the hospital after visiting the emergency room, the last thing you want to do is have to leave him to run home for these tasks.
Between a fully charged cell phone and the ability for other people to access your home, you will have a lot less stuff weighing on your mind. Instead of worrying about how to get in touch with other family members and friends, and how to get important things done at home you can concentrate on the important thing- the loved one you are at the hospital with!