Hospitalizing a parent: 10 things to consider

hospitalized man

Part two of a two-part series Part one in this series highlighted five ways we can help our parents plan in advance of an unexpected hospitalization, including establishing an advanced directive and durable powers of attorney, making their healthcare wishes known, listing children on HIPAA forms at their physicians’ offices, documenting and sharing family and personal medical history, and communicating medical insurance information. This week’s column brings to light ways we can be advocates for our parents once they leave the hospital. No matter the length of the stay, we all want to go back to the comfort and safety of our home. Our parents are no different, but with seniors that desire often replaces reason. Studies show that many seniors are so anxious to leave the hospital that they’re not honest about whether they can manage their discharge. They say they understand instructions when they really don’t. They say they have caregiver help even if they’re alone. Here are the...

Hospitalizing a parent: 10 things to consider


Part one of a two-part series The phone rings. Your 80-year old mother has fallen. They suspect she has broken her hip. An ambulance is on its way. Whether the relationship with your mother is strained or loving, you live near or far, you are her only child or one of six, most likely you will play a role in her recovery. Seniors often feel hospitalization is “overwhelming and terrifying.” They say doctors expect them to understand complicated instructions and make decisions while they are in pain or in the fog of medication. Probably two of the most important roles we can play in the lives of our aging parents are as advocate and planner. If you think you might be asked to be your parents’ advocate during their hospitalization, there are 10 things you should help them plan for in advance: 1. Have your parents appointed you as their medical, legal or financial durable power of attorney? If not, who is? The person your parents appoint as their POA will make decisions when your...