Five Ways to Prepare Yourself for a Stay in Hospital

By on November 15, 2019

Even if you’re generally in good health, there can be lots of reasons why some women over the age of 50 might need to stay in hospital. Sometimes, it’s simply for observation, or it may be because you’re recovering from surgery. Whatever the reason, staying in the hospital isn’t exactly fun, and it’s important to be prepared before your stay. Here are five ways that you can make it more bearable. 

Get packing

For a comfortable stay, you’ll need more than just a change of clothes. You should pack:

  • Your current medications – ensure they’re boxed and labeled
  • Earplugs and an eye mask
  • Nightclothes and slippers
  • Books, a tablet, or anything that’ll keep you entertained during long waits
  • Your insurance details and any relevant paperwork
  • Glasses and hearing aids
  • Toiletries – unless your hospital provides them

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Packing your hospital bag with everything you need will mean you feel more relaxed when you go into hospital.

Talk through your care plan

Before you go into hospital, you should speak to your physician about your care plan. Your physician should have already talked you through the surgery, but they may also need to make a plan for if there’s a surgery error or if you become seriously ill. Making your wishes known now means your family won’t have to make tough decisions if anything was to go wrong.

You may also want to ensure that your doctor has your full medical history and family medical history on file, ensuring that everything is in place for you to get the best possible care. 

Sort out any practical arrangements

From how you’ll get to the hospital, to who’ll pick you up and care for you when you’re discharged, it’s important not to leave practical arrangements until the very last minute. You should also ask your doctor about what kind of care you’ll need once you leave the hospital, as those who need regular visits from a home health aide may need to book them in advance. 

You should also do the same sort of things that you do before going on a long vacation. For example, ensure your home is secure, find someone to feed your pets and water your plants and sort out care for any dependents. If you have kind neighbors, ask if they’ll keep an eye on your home while you’re away, so you don’t have to worry about it. 

Talk things through with a therapist

It’s natural to worry about going into hospital, especially if it’s for major surgery, so many people find they need to speak to someone about their concerns. A couple of sessions with a therapist can help you learn relaxation techniques that can make you less anxious before a procedure.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

As you get older, you may worry about being a burden to those you love, but it’s better to ask for help when you’ve got a hospital stay rather than trying to struggle alone. Whether it’s friends, adult children, or your partner, there are many people who could potentially help you during this time, whether it’s bringing you things you need or simply giving you a ride somewhere. Tell people if there’s something in particular that they could do to help you.

While there are undoubtedly many things you’d rather do than stay over in hospital, it doesn’t have to be an awful experience. The more prepared you are, the less anxious you will feel, so make a list of things to pack and items to organize, so you aren’t rushing around at the last minute.


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Five Ways to Prepare Yourself for a Stay in Hospital