A stay in hospital is something most of us try very hard to avoid, right?
As we found out with my mum, a sudden, unexpected stay in hospital can result in many important things being forgotten at home – important things a patient needs.
Family and friends are often left to organize a bag of personal items to bring to hospital on behalf of the patient.
Of course, hospitals provide for (most of) the needs of patients, however, it’s often the little extras, and personal items, that make a patient feel more comfortable, and at ease, during their stay in hospital.
If you are a friend or family member packing a bag for someone else, you need to think about things that you may not think about for yourself, such as eyewear, or medical appliances.
There were a number of items my family brought to hospital to help my mum.
I’ve put together a general checklist for you to follow. Of course, there may be other things that your loved one may need for their stay in hospital. You can jot those down in the “notes” section.
Want to use this checklist? Click on this PDF and print! (scroll down for more tips!)
24 Important Things To Bring For A Stay In Hospital
Other Things To Think About
You will note that this list includes a few items that your loved ones will find invaluable – and items that not everyone thinks to bring – such as an eye mask and ear plugs. These items will help any patient enjoy a respite from the bright lights and noisy environment of a hospital!
Please keep in mind that you should check with your local hospital regarding any restrictions on mobile phones, tablets, and other devices. Restrictions may be in place in certain areas of the hospital, or in patient rooms that contain sensitive equipment.
Hand And Body Lotions
Hand and body lotions may be much-appreciated items for patients with dry skin, however, remember to avoid bringing any perfumed lotions. Hospital staff will always ask patients and visitors to avoid wearing any scented products, due to the potential allergies of others around them.
When considering sleepwear options, consider packing pyjamas with short sleeves. Short sleeves allow for easier access to the patient’s arms when administering needles or intravenous lines.
It’s best to leave most valuables at home, including debit and credit cards, cash, and jewellery. You may, however, wish to consider bringing one piece of identification for the patient, including their health card. A small amount of pocket change could be brought for incidentals, such as a treat from the hospital gift shop or cafeteria.
Clothing And Outerwear
When a stay in hospital is due to sudden illness or accident, and an ambulance is required to transport the patient to hospital, clothing that the patient will need to wear to return home, may have been forgotten.
Be sure to bring things like a shirt, pants, socks and underwear, if the patient was transported in their pyjamas. Don’t forget to consider outerwear they will need to wear on their way home, such as shoes/boots, a coat, mitts and a hat.
While clothing may seem obvious, in the middle of a medical emergency, it is not. Paramedics do not have time to consider clothing and footwear options for patients, and family members may be too upset, at the time, to think of these things.
Speaking From Experience
A couple of years ago, I was called to pick up my father from hospital at 10PM at night. He was being discharged after being taken to hospital that morning via ambulance.
What I didn’t know was that Dad had been transported to hospital, in his pyjamas, wrapped in layers of warm blankets, on an ambulance stretcher.
Dad didn’t require clothes, boots, or any outwear on his way to hospital but, he sure needed all these things on the way home!
As I hadn’t been informed that he had nothing to wear to travel home in, I arrived with nothing!
There was Dad, sitting in a wheelchair, wearing only his pyjamas and socks, ready to be loaded into my car – on one of the most frigid nights of the winter that year!!
I was horrified!
I had to quickly shuffle him into my semi-warm car, and get him home as fast as possible. While he was “better” than he had been when taken to hospital that morning, he was by no means “healthy”.
He was in no shape to be traveling home in his pyjamas and socks! You better believe that I crossed my fingers tight, hoping that nothing happened to the car on the way home to his place!
Advice From My Mum
And finally, don’t forget a lady’s favourite lipstick! Ha!
One of the items my mum just HAD to have in hospital – once she started to feel better – was her Revlon “Love That Red” lipstick. Because…one’s lips must always look good when in hospital, right?!
Apparently, my mum took after her aunt when it came to lipstick.
After mum passed away, her cousin told me a story of mum’s aunt making a similar request for her lipstick while in hospital. One day, when a special family member was coming to visit, the only thing she was concerned about was making sure she had her lipstick!
Are there any other items you would recommend packing in a bag for a stay in hospital? Share them with us in the comments below!