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Senior Care : Getting Prepared for a Hospital Stay

Most senior patients enter the hospital as a result of a complication of a chronic illness or a serious life-threatening event. Because your loved one is likely to be seriously ill, there may be a great deal of uncertainty with their prognosis. Your loved one may decline and you may be forced to make crucial decisions without their input. There are steps you can take to ease the stress of a hospitalization and to ensure that you remain in control and a part of the health care team.

Basic documents we all need:

Durable Power of Attorney - An individual you have appointed to make decisions about your medical care if you unconscious or can no loner speak for yourself.

Advance Medical Directive - This informs your physician and family as to what kind of care you wish to receive in the event that you can no longer make your own medical decisions.

Living Will - An advance directive that outlines what kind of medical treatment you want to receive in certain situations. This takes effect if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness and have less than six months to live, or if you are in a persistent vegetative state.

Do-Not-Resuscitate - Is the decision to have no efforts made to restart the heart after it has stopped? If the decision is made that resuscitation is not what you desire, then a do-not=resuscitate order must be written by your physician. A DNR can be part of your advance medical directive.

Information needed to give to hospital personnel:

  • Medical history, in writing.

  • A list of physicians and phone numbers.

  • A list of current medications and the dosages.

  • A list of allergies.

Providing this information immediately upon admission to the hospital can save crucial and critical time. Advance directives, living wills, and durable power of attorney forms are all simple documents to complete, and samples may be obtained through your attorney or your state's attorney general's office. Once the forms are completed signed copies should be given to your family physician and kept in a secure place that can be easily obtained if needed.

A hospital sitter is also a great solution to ensure comfort and continuous personal attention is given when family members can't be available. A hospital sitter offers peace of mind and emotional support by ensuring safety and companionship.

Consult Atlanta's most trusted source for quality Home Care assistance, Easy Living Services, Inc. We have supported families in their efforts to keep loved ones fulfilled since 1994, Call to discuss your specific needs and to see if a hospital sitter might be the right solution for you, 770-442-8664.

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