We are all in this together. You can do your part by making a medical plan and a Hospital Go Bag.

During this COVID-19 pandemic, many hospitalized people may not be able to speak for themselves, and sadly, family and friends cannot visit. Preparing for your care can help you, your family, friends, and your medical providers. Make sure your frontline health care providers know your medical wishes. 

Choose a Medical Decision Maker. 

Select a person who will speak for you if you cannot speak for yourself. Also known as a health care proxy, this person can make sure doctors know about the care you want.

  • If able, you should choose a back-up medical decision maker. 
  • Fill out an advanced directive naming your health care decision maker. 
  • Learn more about advanced directives and POLST forms
  • Give one copy of the completed form to your decision maker, and have one copy ready for your health care team. 
  • Keep this person’s phone number written down in your purse or wallet.

Share Wishes + Encourage Loved Ones to Prepare. 

Think about what is most important in your life and for your medical care, and share this now with your family, friends and medical providers. 

  • You can share by phone, video call and/or a selfie video. 
  • Then, encourage your loved ones to prepare too: Ask them if they have a medical decision maker. Help them fill out advanced directives.

Hospital Go Bag.

Board Member Jennifer Neahring, MD

If someone has to go to the hospital right now for any reason, they should consider preparing a bag with essential items that will be crucial for the medical team to care for them. During this time, friends and families cannot visit the hospital and bring things that the person may have left at home, such as a phone, advance directive or their glasses. The Hospital Go Bag should include:

  • Written list of medications (or better yet, your pill bottles and/or inhaler boxes)
  • Written phone numbers for medical decision maker, vital contacts, cellphone password
  • Cell Phone charger
  • A copy of your advance directive and/or other important health-care paperwork
  • Plans for pets and bills
  • Equipment:
    • Glasses, hearing aids, dentures, mobility devices
    • Phone, tablet and/or computer, and their chargers
    • Ear plugs, sleep mask, toothbrush, books or clothes from home
    • Bring food, water and medication needed for a long wait

Additional Information

  1. Prepare for Your Care
  2. The Conversation Project