A stay in hospital means there are many things to organise, often things you may not consider...

A planned stay in hospital can be a daunting experience, especially when you have to plan ahead for your stay. There are often many arrangements to be made for your home, a loved one or your pets. Sometimes these can get forgotten as we are preoccupied with the fact that we are going into hospital.

For your peace of mind, here is a list of things that you may wish to consider before your hospital stay.

Letting people know where you are

It is important to let your loved ones know where you are. Often, people go into hospital without letting family and friends know, in hope of preventing unnecessary worry; however this can have the opposite effect if they are unable to get in touch with you.

Let your family, friends and neighbours know where you are for their own peace of mind. They may also wish to offer their support to you.

Arranging support for a loved one

If you are a family or main carer for someone, then you’ll need to arrange support for them while you are away.

If your hospital stay is for more than a couple of days, then it’s advisable to arrange for either a home care support worker or a family member to “shadow” you for a couple of days before you go into hospital.

This will allow time for the person you usually support to get to know the person covering their support if they are not already familiar with them. This also gives them the opportunity to learn any routines you have in place.

Arranging care for your pets

If you have pets, then you will need to arrange someone to look after them for you.

This might be a friend, family member, or a neighbour. If you don’t have these options available to you, then you could choose a pet boarding service such as kennels or a cattery. Some vets may provide this service, or they will be able to advise you of a recommended service.

Many of these services have onsite veterinarians 24 hours a day just in case your pet is unwell while they are there. This can give you peace of mind, particularly if you have an elderly pet.

Check paper and milk deliveries

Check any deliveries you have to your home. This could be any of the following:

  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Dairy and farm produce
  • Vegetable boxes

You could arrange for a neighbour to collect these for you if you are going to need them upon your return, or for longer hospital stays, you may wish to cancel a delivery.

Garden care

If you are due to be in hospital for a week or so, and have a graden that requires a lot of maintenance, especially during the spring and summer months, then it can be a good idea to arrange someone to care for it while you are away. Likewise with winter, you may need paths clearing of ice and of leaves during Autumn.

There are local organisations that you can contact to do this for you via sites such as Rated People.

Arrange for your home to be cleaned

You might want to arrange for someone to come and clean your home before your stay in hospital. Especially if the reason you are going into hospital has prevented you from doing so yourself. Coming back to a clean home, with no chores on the list will help you to relax during your recovery.

Arranging transport

You may not be able to drive yourself home from hospital so if you drive, it may be better for you to leave the car at home and arrange alternative transport.

Before you go into hospital for your stay find out if a hospital taxi will be provided for you after your you’ve been discharged, if not, make other arrangements in advance.

Organising support for recovery

If you have been in hospital for an operation or procedure that requires some recovery time at home, then organising support from a loved one or home care organisation is something for you to consider.

You may need support with showering and dressing, or little help with cooking meals and cleaning. Any care and support that you receive during your recovery time at home should reduce as you begin to get better and are able to do things for yourself again.

Making sure that you have the right support can help you to recover much more quickly.