I recently learned of a great book, one that could easily become a go- to reference for many patients and caregivers. Karen Friedman MD and Sara Merwin MPH have teamed up to write The Informed Patient: A Complete Guide to A Hospital Stay. Having been a caregiver myself I can tell you first hand that hospital stays can be emotionally and physically draining for the patient as well as family members.
The book guides you through the inner workings of the hospital, explaining all the "routine" things that one experiences during a hospital stay - including the unexpected ER visit. The authors cover the admission process, testing, procedures and protocols, and discharge planning. This knowledge will empower you to be a better health advocate for your loved one.
Being informed and prepared for unexpected health events results in better decision-making and improved outcomes. So take the time now to gather the information you and your family members will need to make quick decisions should a hospitalization occur, whether planned or not. And don’t forget, information such as a detailed list of medications, recent test results, copies of insurance and legal documents should be readily available and brought to the hospital with the patient.
** For those of you who get information from Social Media, I recommend following @SaraMerwin1 on Twitter where she comments on issues related to Geriatric Care.
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