How You Can Help

Having a loved one in the hospital can feel overwhelming. Whether the patient is merely undergoing routine tests or facing a complex surgery, you want to demonstrate your full support. You don’t want your loved one going through this alone—and you don’t have to go it alone either.

We will support you through the entire process, first by providing all the information possible so you feel fully informed. The more you know, the more assistance you will be able to offer—and that can take much of the burden off the patient.

Below are a few helpful resources so that you can become more familiar with diseases, procedures and treatments. You will also find instructions and information for caregiving and insights into the patient experience.

How to make a hospital stay more comfortable

Here’s a checklist to help you facilitate a calmer, more pleasant hospital visit for your loved one.

  • Attend all necessary doctor appointments prior to the hospital stay. Be sure to ask questions and take notes. Newly diagnosed patients tend to forget much of what their physician has told them. The worse the prognosis, the less information is retained. Your presence will be welcomed.
  • Prepare a list for their stay. Be sure to refer to what to bring/what NOT to bring. [Link to For Patients > Current Patients > What to Bring/What NOT to Bring] Include small personal items like photographs or kids’ drawings to brighten the hospital room.
  • Plan your drive to the facility [Map & Directions] in advance to ensure you arrive on time or ahead of schedule.
  • Bring an iPod or other mp3 player with headphones so your loved one can listen to favorite music to help stay calm and relaxed.
  • Draw up a list of approved visitors, in consultation with your loved one. Ensure only those visitors are seen so the patient isn’t caught off guard or overwhelmed.
  • Learn the names of the medical staff members who are treating your loved one and communicate openly with each of them. Be sure to let them know if the patient is ever in pain.
  • With the patient’s permission, consider setting up websites to coordinate scheduling and communication.
    • CarePages are free patient blogs that connect friends and family during health situations.
    • CareCalendar is a scheduling tool for a patient’s family and friends to coordinate meals and other needs.
  • Discuss the plan for discharge in advance so everyone has peace of mind and knows what to expect. Some questions to ask include:
    • Who will take the patient home following care?
    • Who will take care of them at home?
    • If they have kids, what are the after-school plans?
    • Who will cook meals, clean and do laundry?
  • Before your loved one is discharged, prepare the house accordingly:
    • Fill any necessary prescriptions
    • Keep track of the medication schedule
    • Make up his or her bed with clean sheets
    • Stock up on healthy food and drinks

Be sure to contact us with any questions. A Delray staff member will be available 24/7 to answer anything that comes up.