What to take along and what to leave at home
[00:00:00] Host Amber Smith: Here's some expert advice from Dr. Jay Brenner from Upstate Medical University. What do family or friends need to know about bringing an older person to the hospital emergency department?
[00:00:12] Jay Brenner, MD: When you're deciding if you should come to the emergency department or not, and perhaps you call your doctor or maybe a family member who is in healthcare, and they advise you to go to the emergency department, we certainly want you to come. But don't forget to bring some of the important things that will help us take better care of you.
Medication lists that are updated is one of the top things. Any assistance devices that you might need. So we have walkers, so if you don't bring your walker, that's OK. We have walkers. But bring your hearing aids. We do have amplifiers if you forget them for some reason, you are leaving a hurry. You know, bring your visual aids, your glasses, right? Don't forget that in order to best take care of you, we need to be able to communicate with you. And whatever assist devices you need, that's really helpful.
I think it's important that if you do have Medical Orders of Life-sustaining Treatment, or a MOLST form, that would be something that would be good to bring. It's good to know sort of what your wishes would be if there were any extreme measures that were needed to take care of you.
And then for advocates, for family and friends that are bringing in a senior adult to seek emergency care, bring yourself. Visitors are welcome. We've, definitely made our visitor restrictions much more lenient as we're having much lower Covid rates. And so you need to come and advocate. We know that patients who have an advocate get sort of more attention for their needs, and we welcome you to do so.
One thing that I think is good to leave at home, and I shouldn't have to spell this out per se, but we've had this happen on occasion. You can't bring your pet, unless they are a registered service animal. And I realize that can be a little bit disconcerting because a lot of older adults really do find a lot of companionship and support by their pet. It's not something that we can accommodate for in this shared space.
And other than that, we have warm blankets. We have lots of comfort items, but I've seen patients on many occasions bring their own blanket, and that's okay. We're not going to tell you to leave that at home. But certainly wear comfortable clothes because you are going to be asked to get into a patient gown like you would at any healthcare facility. And certainly there are people to assist you with that if you need assistance. And that's really about it. I mean, just bring yourself and any contact information that you might have for anyone that can help us best take care of you.
[00:02:34] Host Amber Smith: You've been listening to Dr. Jay Brenner from Upstate Medical University.