good life, good death, good grief

How should I prepare in case I (or someone I care about) has to go to hospital with COVID-19? 

You should discuss and agree how you and your family will keep in touch with someone if they go into hospital – decide which family member will make phone calls/visits and keep everyone else informed. If someone does to to hospital, you can then make sure the hospital knows the best person to contact so that you can continue to be involved in their care.

If you can, make sure they have a phone, tablet or laptop (and charger!) to help them stay in touch. If you haven’t already done so think about installing a video chat app (eg whatsapp, facetime or zoom), and check that it works to contact/be contacted by your family. Keep a note of any account names and passwords.

Prepare a small bag that includes: 

  • A piece of paper with, in clearly readable print:  
    • Identifying information: Name, date of birth, address 
    • Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of emergency contacts and next of kin 
    • (optional: pincode to patient’s mobile phone )
  • Anything you would need for an overnight stay, for example: 
    • Glasses 
    • Medication 
    • Snacks 
    • Pyjamas, a change of clothes, slippers 
    • Toothbrush, toothpaste 
  • A list of the medications you take, including dose and frequency. 
  • Any information on your planned care appointments. 
  • Your anticipatory care plan, if you have one. 
  • Some information about who you are, what you like, perhaps some laminated photos of family so that the care staff can get to know a bit about your life.
  • You might also want to take something with you that reminds you of your family, since it is unlikely that you’ll be allowed any visitors

It would be ideal to have your name and date of birth readable on the outside of the bag as well. 

If you find yourself going to hospital, remember to add into the bag: 

  • Glasses 
  • Phone/laptop/tablet to enable you to stay in touch, along with any passcodes that staff might need to enable you to use your device if you become too unwell to operate it yourself.
  • Phone charger 
  • Today’s page of the illness diary (if you’re keeping an illness diary) 

Remember that there will likely be no visitors allowed in hospitals, and a phone/contact details give you a better chance of staying in touch with the people who care about you. 

Further information

If you are in a higher risk category and worried about what might happen if you catch covid-19, you may want to consider making additional plans - check out the further information here: COVID-19: planning ahead

Photo by Oliur on Unsplash

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