Easing lengthy hospital stays

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I’m anticipating a lengthy hospital stay for my husband. Other than doing laundry for him, visiting regularly, and taking gifts, what can I do to make his stay easier?

A lengthy hospital stay can always be a little overwhelming, so planning ahead of time is important. Certainly, bringing some personal items, such as a favourite pillow, blanket, or a few family photos, from home will help make his room more pleasant. Does your husband enjoy listening to the radio or reading? If so, consider bringing along his favourite books or magazines. Also, consider hobbies that may be portable. As well, renting one of the hospital TVs may help him to pass the time.

If there are cultural interests or possible barriers, consider hiring a companion through an agency to spend a few hours a couple times a week with him. If additional personal care is needed, a private duty caregiver can assist with personal hygiene and skin care, and take your husband for walks. A visit from a foot care nurse is often greatly appreciated.

Depending on your husband’s condition, a volunteer may also be able to visit from a cultural or related health organization (for example, the MS Society or Cancer Society).

Finally, don’t forget to ask your husband what he would like.

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