The last couple of times I have been in hospital or visited others in hospital, I have compiled notes on the most useful items to have at your bedside.

  1. Paper cups. Useful for holding small quantities of liquid so you don’t risk spilling an entire bottle. Also useful to spit into, hold rubbish, etc. Bring lots, so you can use them freely without worrying about running out.
  2. Straws (with a bend). Require less dexterity to drink from.
  3. Bottles of water and the healthiest snack bars you can find, so you don’t have to call the nurses for refreshments repeatedly.
  4. Small plasters, for any scrapes.
  5. Tissues and wetwipes, to keep clean.
  6. Notebook and pen. Write down questions for the doctors or you will forget to ask, and write down their answers or you will forget what they said. Also to make notes on phone calls, e.g. if you are using travel insurance.
  7. Wireless headphones. The bed (and perhaps the patient) is likely to have various wires and tubes attached; you don’t want to get tangled with wired headphones.
  8. Long charging cable, so you can charge your phone even if the plug socket is a distance away.
  9. Slippers, to make it easy to get up.
  10. Plastic bags, to hold your items if you need to migrate to another room, or just to keep your stuff in one place on the bed.