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