How You Can Help

When someone you love is in the hospital, it’s typical to feel overwhelmed and concerned. Whether they’re having a routine procedure or a complicated surgery, you want to demonstrate your love and support. You aren’t alone in that process. We’ll support you along the way with relevant and necessary insights so that you’re fully informed. The more you know about all things related to their hospital stay, the more you’ll be able to guide them through it.

Bring comfort to their stay.

Below is a checklist that can help you facilitate preparations for your loved one’s hospital stay, so their experience can be more pleasant.

  • Go to all necessary doctor appointments with the patient prior to the hospital stay. Be sure to ask thorough questions and keep notes. Newly diagnosed patients with serious conditions like cancer often forget what the doctor tells them during those visits. The worse the condition, the less the patient tends to remember. You can capture the information and relay it later on.
  • Ask your loved one what he or she wants to take to the hospital and offer to pack a bag. Be sure to refer to what to bring/what NOT to bring for guidelines. Include small personal items like photographs or a child’s drawings to brighten your loved one’s room.
  • Plan your route to the hospital to ensure you arrive on time or ahead of schedule.
  • Bring an mp3 player and headphones so your loved one can listen to their favorite tunes.
  • Craft a list of approved visitors with your loved one’s input. Make sure only those visitors are allowed, so the patient isn’t caught off guard or overwhelmed.
  • Find out the names of the medical professionals in charge of your loved one’s care and communicate openly with them. Let a staff member know right away if the patient is ever in pain.
  • With your loved one’s approval, put up websites to coordinate communication and scheduling.
    • CareCalendar is an online scheduling tool to coordinate meals and other help in time of illness or life-changing events.
  • Establish the discharge plan ahead of time so those involved know what to expect. Some questions to cover include:
    • Who will take the patient home after their treatment?
    • Who will take care of them back at home?
    • If there are children, what happens after school?
    • Who will prepare meals, do laundry, and clean house?
  • Before your loved one is discharged, get the house in order:
    • Make up the bed with fresh sheets
    • Stock up on healthy food and drinks
    • Fill any necessary prescriptions
    • Keep track of the medication schedule