When a loved one is in the hospital, keeping track of everything is difficult but critically important. To best advocate for them and ensure a smooth transition back home, be prepared.

For the Short Term:

  1. In the Hospital:
    • Do you have a journal to document the key information you receive during the hospital stay?
    • Do you have the doctors’ names and phone numbers?
    • Did you bring all the medications your loved one is taking or have a detailed list?
    • Have you prepared a list of questions for nurses/doctors prior to daily meetings with them?
    • Have you generated a list of questions relevant to returning home?
  2. Is it your loved one’s wish to recuperate or age at home and is the home prepared?
    • Do you need: walker, wheelchair, cane, handles, monitors, medication managers etc…..
    • Should the bedroom be on the main floor?
    • Is the bathroom safe for any new mobility limitations?
    • Do you have neighbors who can be called to help in emergencies?
  3. Does your loved one need a caregiver at home for daily visits or 24 hour or live-in care?
    • Will family members provide ongoing hands-on care at home if needed?
    • Is a professional caregiver or Personal Support Worker needed?
    • If needed, is there a bed and a bathroom for a live-in caregiver to use?
    • Have you contacted and signed up with a caregiving firm to ensure quick support when needed?


For the Long Term:

  1. Is your wish to age at home as long as possible and have you prepared for that?
  2. Has a full Living Will been discussed or prepared?
  3. Have the Powers of Attorney (POAs) for Care and Property been determined? Are those documents in the right hands?
  4. Have your wishes been discussed with your family, doctor, lawyer and POAs?
  5. Has a Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR) been discussed and prepared if desired?
  6. If a couple is aging at home together, have you considered what happens to one if the other is hospitalized? Consider what happens if the healthiest spouse falls ill.
  7. If you’re out of town, and a loved one needs help, is there a contingency care plan?


If you have any questions about any of these concerns, please call us.