What to Do When a Loved One is Hospitalized

9:40 pm Estate Planning

Hospital e1384810791663 What to Do When a Loved One is HospitalizedLast week we posted about the importance of keeping your advance medical directive handy, especially if you or a loved one is hospitalized or incapacitated and unable to make your own medical decisions.

Forbes also had an article last week on the six steps you should take when a loved one is hospitalized that is worth sharing here:

1.  Understand who is in charge.  Hospitals have an organizational hierarchy like any other business, and in order for you to both get and give the right information on your loved one, you need to understand who is in charge of their care.

2.  Get daily updates from the nurse.  It can be difficult for you to catch the primary doctor on his or her rounds, so get your daily updates from the nurse on duty.  Hospitals are required to have electronic medical records, so the nurse on duty can look up other nurses’ notes to give you the full picture.

3.  If you don’t understand, ask.  Medical professional in hospitals are extremely busy, so if you find them spitting out terms you don’t understand, ask them to clarify.

4.  Pick one spokesperson for the family.  Again, the hospital medical staff is busy, and while you are certainly entitled to updates and care consultations, it will help if you designate one family spokesperson who can then update the entire family.

5.  Locate the paperwork.  Back to keeping that advance medical directive handy!  You need to be sure you have your loved one’s important papers – including the health care directive and/or health care power of attorney – available for hospital records.

6.  Control your emotions.  Hospitals can be stressful environments for families, but being critical or complaining is rarely productive.  Work on managing your emotions if you find things getting out of hand.

To create an advance medical directive as part of a comprehensive estate plan, contact our Orange County law firm.

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