Home Care: Everyone who has a senior parent lives in fear of that middle-of-the-night phone call that says their parent has had a medical emergency. But family members are getting those calls every single day. And now because emergency rooms are so crowded your senior loved one could be waiting in the emergency room a long time before they are treated and released or admitted to the hospital and given a bed. Every second counts in an emergency so it’s smart for you or your home care provider to keep a bag packed that you can just grab on your way out the door as you go to the emergency room.
That bag should have these four things in it to make things go smoothly at the emergency room:
Insurance Cards And Other Papers
Your senior loved one probably did not grab their wallet or purse or copies of their insurance information during their medical emergency. So you need to bring a copy of their insurance cards and any other important papers they might need. If you have a power of attorney you should bring that. Bring copies of a DNR if your senior parent has one and a list of the medications they are on. All of this information can be looked up by the hospital staff, but in a real emergency, it will allow them to treat your senior loved one faster if you can just hand them these documents.
Socks And Slippers
Make sure that you have clean socks and a warm pair of slippers with no-skid bottoms for your senior loved one in your bag. They will not want to wear the thin socks that the hospital providers and they won’t be able to walk around in those if they need to get up out of bed to use the bathroom or walk to a treatment room. Bring them a thick pair of warm socks and also a pair of slippers with rubber soles so that they can keep warm and walk safely around the hospital.
Hospital blankets are usually not very warm, not cozy, and have a distinct industrial smell from the disinfection process they go through. Bring a soft and warm fleece blanket that your senior loved one can use both to stay warm and for comfort. Fleece blankets are very inexpensive, and they are easy to throw into a bag. Your senior loved one will greatly appreciate having a warm blanket while they are waiting to either get admitted or transferred.
A Warm Loose Robe
Hospital gowns are notoriously cold and uncomfortable, but if your senior loved one is having a medical crisis they won’t be allowed to wear pajamas. The medical staff will need to be able to access their body if necessary during medical treatment. But a warm robe can be easily pushed aside or removed when the medical staff needs access. So instead of pajamas pack a thick and warm robe for your senior loved one.