Caregiving Tips Weekly Recap. Hospitals: Visits

Hospital visits are so important to the recovery of our loved ones.  As the caregiver, advocate, concerned family member or friend and visitor we have enough on our minds without worrying about how to make the visit comfortable for everyone.
That’s where we come in! 
Last week we posted tips from the Hospitals: Visits chapter of 365 Caregiving Tips: Hospitals, Care Facilities and Hospice, Practical Tips from Everyday Caregivers

We hope using these tips (or the others found in our books) will make your visit worry and stress-free!
Tip 68.  Find out the parking situation upon arrival to the hospital.  Can you get your parking validated?  Do they offer valet service?   The last thing a caregiver needs is a parking ticket after a long day in the hospital!
Tip 69.  Ask either the security guard or the information desk if someone can escort you to your car after dark.
Tip 70.  If you cannot visit in person, see if a visiting friend or relative can help your loved one visit with you via FaceTime or Skype.  This will give you an opportunity to see for yourself how your loved one is and give them a chance to see you as well.
Tip 71.  People in a hospital might not be up to having visitors either in person or via Skype or FaceTime.  Have people send a video or audio message to you, so you can share them with your loved one when the time is right.
Tip 72.  If your loved one is interested, bring in a book they would like and read to them from it when you visit.  In fact, leave a note, and ask everyone who visits to read from the book.  It will give people something to do and a way to interact with the patient, and may cause the visitor to stay a little longer.
Tip 74.  Of course, there might be “that” friend or relative who shows up with an alcoholic beverage for your loved one.  Please make sure that is saved for the celebration at home (as long as it is physician approved).
Tip 75.   Veteran’s Administration hospitals may have different rules than civilian hospitals.  For instance, when visiting, you will need to allow extra time to check in to security before gaining access to the base hospital.  Be sure to inform all friends and relatives planning to visit about these extra rules.
My favorite tip this week?  Tip 75 has been very useful to me personally.  My mother-in-law is frequently in the hospital and is oftentimes in the nearby VA hospital.  It was stressful visiting her at first because I had no idea I needed to check in to security, show my ID, fill out paperwork AND be listed on the approved visitor list!  Once I found out the rules it made things much easier for me and my husband and I were able to give the rest of the family a heads up about the procedures. 
It’s the little things that help!
If you don’t have time to read the entire book or the weekly recaps, you can find daily caregiving tips – on a variety of topics – here, on Twitter and our Facebook page.  The website will even translate the tips into whatever language you wish!
We are posting tips this week from the chapter Hospitals: Discharge and Follow-up in our book, 365 Caregiving Tips: Hospitals, Care Facilities and Hospice, Practical Tips from Everyday Caregivers.
Thank you for reading and we hope these tips make your caregiving life a little easier.
Take care,
Trish, Kathy, Pegi, Gincy, Richard