When I visited Mom in the hospital yesterday, I could tell that she wasn’t happy. It wasn’t just the mild case of pneumonia that was making her miserable; she was missing the little things that make her life at home so much easier. She wasn’t in her own bed, with her own bathroom, and she was tired of following the doctor’s advice to lie down. Fortunately, after a quick chat with the nurse, I discovered that the hospital could provide a few small items that would make her stay much more pleasant. If your loved one is in the hospital, consider requesting one or more of the items below to make his or her visit more comfortable.
- 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 OT/PT department. 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.