Items to Keep in a Bag for a Quick Trip to the Hospital

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As a member of the never-aging Baby Boomers Generation caring for elderly parents and grandkids, I know there is a good possibility of a quick trip to the hospital with little notice, as it can be a big help and even safety precaution to stay with the patient all or most of the time they are there. As I wrote in Hospital Preparation for Caregivers, I made a list of items I want in my Swiss Gear backpack to grab if I have to go in a hurry:

  • Some $20 bills and quarters (for phone calls if your cell phone isn’t allowed or isn’t working and for vending machines when the cafeteria is closed)
  • A list of all medicines the patient takes
  • Copies of the power of attorney, living will, parental permission, and/or other legal documents.
  • Medical insurance information
  • Bible, devotional book, list of verses, etc.
  • A book or two and/or some magazines
  • A Crossword Puzzle Book, knitting supplies or whatever else you like to do to keep your hands busy
  • Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, vitamins, and/or any medications you, personally, might need for a 48-hour period (NEVER give medicines to a patient in the hospital. Tell the staff what she/he takes, and let them handle it!)
  • Pens, pencils, notebook
  • Nuts, trailmix, M&M with peanuts, or some other snack with protein
  • Water bottle
  • Brush, toothbrush, toothpaste
  • Gum
  • Chapstick or lipstick
  • Hand lotion
  • Any other personal needs
  • An extra charger for your cell phone, PDA, mp3 player, and/or laptop (if you don’t have extras, add them to your list of items to grab on your way out – see next item)
  • A list of items you need to grab on your way out the door – these could include your cell phone, PDA, mp3 player, and/or laptop along with the chargers for each it.

Well, there you have my list. How about you? As a member of the Sandwich Generation, dealing with the issues of caring for elderly parents, do you have a list of your own? Got anything to add to this one. We’d love to hear. 🙂