Hospital stays, whether short term or long term, can be a difficult transition for our senior loved ones. Our parents have their daily routines interrupted and the comforting familiarity of their own beds, own bathrooms, and familiar foods are lost in the rapid-pace world of most busy hospitals. So, if you are accustomed to taking care of elderly parents at home, you may need to shift gears a bit and consider what items would make that hospital room feel a bit more like home. Here’s a list of a few simple items that may make the stay a bit more comfortable for your favorite patient:
- a hospital bed trapeze. If your loved one has trouble changing position in bed, ask to have a hospital bed trapeze installed above the bed. The trapeze allows individuals to reach up to turn their bodies more easily.
- a phone with an amplified receiver headset. If the person you care for has trouble hearing on the phone, ask for a phone with an amplified receiver headset, or consider bringing one in from home.
- a pair of special prism glasses. If an elderly loved one must lie flat but would like to be able to read, ask to borrow a pair of special prism glasses from the occupational or physical therapy departments. The glasses allow a reader to lie flat while reading with a book on his or her chest.
- a portable adjustable commode device. If the height of the bathroom commode is not at a comfortable level, ask that a portable adjustable commode device be put on the toilet for the duration of the stay.
- a reacher. If you loved one is restricted to bed, take a reacher along or ask the hospital physical or occupational therapy department if you can borrow one.
While a hospital stay may never be enjoyable, there are things that can make it bearable! Sometimes the little things in life make all the difference.