Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, to protect you, your loved one, hospital staff, and the public, you will not be able to visit your loved one in the hospital. We want to make sure you can stay connected and engaged during this time with an admitted patient. 

Things You Can Do at the Time of Admission:

  • Confirm: Who your loved ones legally authorized health care representative (medical or health care power of attorney) will be. This is the person who makes decisions when a person cannot speak for themselves. Give the person’s name and phone number(s) to the hospital team.
  • Discuss: Who will be the primary family contact. We can only give out information to family members with the patient’s permission. We know there are many people who care about your loved one. Please choose one person who will talk to the hospital team during the stay. 
    • It’s best if this is the legally authorized health care representative.
    • That person can then share the information with your loved one’s family and community.
    • Give the name and phone number(s) for a back-up person. 
  • Give: The hospital team a copy of your loved one’s advance directive/living will if they completed one. (You can also mail or drop off later if you don’t have it now.)
  • How: Do you prefer to get information from the team. Let the hospital team know what kind of technology the primary family contact has at home. Does that person have a smartphone (like an iPhone or Android), tablet (like an iPad or Chromebook), or computer with a camera and internet? 
  • Plan: How you and your loved one will stay in touch while you are apart. You can use their bedside phone number that the hospital will provide. If your loved one has a smartphone, tablet, or laptop computer you may leave it with them. Be sure the device is labeled with their name and please provide a charger cord that is also labeled with their name. We can also help connect their smartphone, tablet, or computer to our free hospital internet, and help them to keep in touch via video chat.
    • Comcast Internet Essentials is offering affordable internet to eligible households. Please note, this is not a Penn Medicine product or program. Please direct any questions or support needs to Comcast or call: 800-934-6489

Things You Can Do for Your Loved One and Yourself During the Hospital Stay:

  • Keep a diary or journal:
    • Write down the names of your hospital team members to keep things clear. 
    • Write down the name and phone number for your loved one’s hospital ward.
    • Write down your questions for the hospital team so that you can ask them all at once. 
    • You may choose to write down your thoughts and feelings to share with your loved one.
  • DO NOT send food or flowers. We may not be able to deliver cards and other items during this time.
  • Reach out to your community outside of the hospital so that you don’t feel as alone during this hard time. Many faith leaders and community organizations are able to connect to you by phone.
  • Contact our pastoral care support team. These individuals are not just for spiritual support, but also work closely with the hospital team to be sure you are feeling supported at home. Call the hospital operator and ask for the “chaplain on call.”
  • Make a plan to update family and friends. With your loved one’s permission, set up a CaringBridge account to communicate with other family and friends who may wish to leave messages of support during the hospital stay.

Things to Note When Your Loved One Is Admitted to the Hospital:

  • Hospital ward
  • Phone number of ward
  • My loved one’s bedside phone number
  • Hospital team
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