STAYING INDEPENDENT

Going into hospital

"I need advice to help me manage my hospital stay."

Preparing for a hospital stay

If you are going to hospital for treatment, you should think about the plans you need to make whilst you're away.

Make sure your home is safe and secure

Here are some tips to keep your house safe and secure while you are in hospital:

  • Switch off all electrical appliances.
  • Shut down water at the mains.
  • Turn central heating off (or if it’s likely to freeze, leave on a low heat to protect your pipes from bursting).
  • Check that your windows and doors are locked.
  • Consider asking someone you trust, like a family member or friend, to look after your house keys and valuables. It is also worth asking them to check on your property to do routine things like clear the mailbox and water plants.

Pet care

If you live with animals, here are some ways you can make sure they are cared for while you are away:

  • Ask someone close to you to look after them, whether it’s asking them to pop into your house to feed the fish, or having pets like a dog or cat stay with them.
  • Arrange for them to stay at a kennel or cattery. If you do not have one you usually go to, ask friends or family for recommendations.
  • If you are aged 60 or over, or in the later stages of a terminal illness, The Cinnamon Trust, a national charity, can look after your pets while you are in hospital. This is a free service, but relies on volunteers so it has limited capacity in some areas. Find out more about foster care for your pets on The Cinnamon Trust website.

Cancel deliveries

Think about any services you will not need while you are in hospital. You could:

  • Contact your milkman to cancel any milk, bread or juice deliveries.
  • Make sure you contact your newsagents to cancel newspapers or magazines.
  • Suspend any online subscriptions, such as with Amazon or pet food deliveries.
  • Consider using Royal Mail’s Keepsafe service if you have no one to collect your mail. They will hold onto your mail for up to 2 months and deliver it when you return to your home. Find out more about Keepsafe on the Royal Mail website.