When it’s time for your aging parent to leave the hospital, make sure you bring this one simple item with you

If you have an elderly parent who is getting out of the hospital after surgery, an emergency, or an injury, be prepared for the flood of confusing information you’ll be getting.

Often there are detailed discharge instructions for changing bandages, caring for a wound, or taking medications at the proper time.

Doctors talk fast. Nurses do, too.

And afterward you might not remember everything they said.

Usually it’s all in the printouts they’ll send home with you, but those pages aren’t always super easy to understand. Ever tried to read the patient information leaflet that’s included in most prescription medications?

Plus, maybe you’re not the one who will be changing the bandages for the next two weeks. Will you be able to teach your mom’s home health aide how to do this complicated procedure you barely understand yourself? Will the nursing home staff know how to do it?

There’s an easy solution.

Bring your smartphone.

Record a video of the discharge instructions. That way you’ll know exactly what was said.

If there’s a procedure to follow, whether for wrapping a wound or taking care of an IV port, make a video of the professional doing it. That way you can always review how it’s done before you do it. Or you can show the video (right on your phone, or upload it as a private video to a video sharing service) to the person who will be doing the procedure.

If you missed the opportunity when your parent was discharged, all is not lost. There’s probably someone who has already uploaded a similar video to YouTube.

Hat tip to Age in Place Tech for the idea for this post.

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