When you have a loved one who is ill or undergoing treatment, you likely feel slightly inadequate. You want to help, but you do not know how. But there are many ways you can ensure your loved one gets the care she needs and deserves during her stay. Below, we share some simple things you can do when assisting a loved one in the hospital.


What can I do to?


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.
  • Learn about your loved one’s condition, treatments, and procedures. You will know what to expect and what side effects to look for and better understand the prognoses.
  • Be present when doctors or nurses are in the room. Speak up if you have questions about a treatment, test, or diagnosis.
  • Keep an up-to-date list of medications (including the dosages and recommended frequency) your loved one takes to ensure no contraindications or other medicine mistakes.
  • Take notes when speaking to the doctor. Have a pen and paper to jot down notes when the doctor or nurses make their rounds.
  • Make sure everybody who visits washes their hands. Good hygiene can significantly reduce the spread of germs and the all-too-common hospital-acquired infections.


What if there was a major mistake with my loved one’s care?


Being in the hospital is already stressful enough, but the thought of a major mistake happening with a loved one’s care can make the experience even more overwhelming. Unfortunately, medical errors can happen, but it’s important to remember that there are steps you can take to advocate for your loved one and hold the hospital accountable. 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 the harm they sustained.

Contact Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault today at 419-843-6663 for a free case evaluation.