Whether your loved one is going into the hospital or coming home, it is a time where many details are in play simultaneously. And a time that you can become scattered and unsure of what to do. I remember being so lost and at times uncomfortable during those days and wish I had some idea of what to expect.
The list could be quite extensive depending on what your situation is, but here’s a starting point that might help a bit:
For you in the hospital or care facility
Wear comfortable clothes and bring layers. The rooms can run warm for the benefit of your loved one and though it may be 50* outside it is often a bit warm inside.
Most facilities have a music channel on the TV that has calming and peaceful images which can be soothing to your loved one and visitors alike.
Bring a backup charger for your phone or laptop, and perhaps a book/magazine, knitting…something to help keep you busy and your loved one doesn’t feel like such a ‘burden’ if you stay for a while.
At the hospital, ask if you can spend the night. This may or may not be appropriate depending on the circumstances, but it made a big difference for my Mom when my Sister and I stayed with her.
Remember that your loved one is being cared for by professionals so you should not feel compelled to be there 24/7. It is far too draining, and you need your rest, too. You can always bring in a second set of eyes from family or friends if you feel the need.
Bringing your loved one home
It is always a good idea to be prepared for when your loved one returns from the hospital or care facility with things they may need. We have a variety of products listed on the Breathing Spaces website that are a good starting point, and they may link through to various items that you haven’t thoughts about. There are even a few goodies that you might find valuable for yourself as well.
There are endless details to remember and a stress level that frequently accompanies them. The Breathing Spaces website has a Caregivers Journal designed just for you that helps keep track of details and thoughts, as well as a meditation series designed specifically for family caregivers. Both give you the ability to stay grounded and focus on the tasks at hand.
These are a starting point for you, and we recommend for your sanity to make a list of things you may need and check in with the hospital or care facility for specific needs for your loved one.
Don’t forget, in the middle of all of this that your health, your rest, and your peace of mind are paramount.
Don’t forget, to B-R-E-A-T-H-E.