When you have a loved one who is ill or undergoing treatment, you likely feel slightly inadequate; you want to help, but you just do not know how. But there are actually a lot of ways you can ensure your loved one gets the care she needs and deserves during her stay. Below, we share some of the simple things you can do if you are wondering how to help a loved one in the hospital.
What can I do to help my loved one in the hospital?
When your loved one is in the hospital, her care and comfort are your top concerns. You might not be a doctor, but that does not mean you cannot help in other ways. By being attentive and present and speaking up when necessary, you can prevent medical errors and help ease the nervousness and tension your loved one may feel. Here are some ways you can support your loved one:
- Be your loved one’s advocate. All patients benefit from having someone advocate on their behalf. “A family caregiver who can act as a thoughtful advocate – asking the right questions, keeping track of hospital personnel and their directives, monitoring medications – can make all the difference and ensure a comfortable, safe and hopefully brief hospital stay,” explains Visiting Nurse Service of New York.
- Learn all that you can about your loved one’s condition, treatments, and procedures. You will know what to expect, what side effects to look for, and have a better understanding of the prognoses.
- Be present when doctors/nurses are in the room. If you have questions about a treatment, test, or diagnosis, speak up.
- Keep an up-to-date list of medications (including the dosages and recommended frequency) your loved one is taking to ensure there are not contraindications or other medicine mistakes.
- Take notes when speaking to the doctor. Have a pen and paper on-hand to jot down notes when the doctor or nurses make their rounds.
- Make sure everybody who visits washes their hands. Good hygiene can greatly reduce the spread of germs and all too common hospital acquired infections.
What if there was a major mistake with my loved one’s care?
If you think your loved one suffered injuries or complications that resulted from negligent care in the hospital, you will want to speak to a local medical malpractice attorney. Your loved one might be entitled to damages for harms she sustained.
For a free case evaluation, contact Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A. today at 419-843-6663.