A couple of months ago I had the honor of being the bedside advocate for a friend with MS. While she was in the hospital for 4 weeks I joined family members and other friends in rotating shifts to make sure that she had her communication tools available because she had long since lost the ability to vocalize. She used eye movements to look at signs we posted around the room that had common phrases on them; Need Bedpan, Pain, Hot, Cold, Raise knees, Thank you, Tell me something good and (just for fun) Margarita on the rocks no salt.
My friend passed away 4 weeks ago and I am at peace knowing that she is at peace. She did ask me to share the signs tool with other caregivers and said that people like me who have pain can’t always verbalize. Especially when the pain spikes so overwhelmingly. So having similar signs posted might make a situation less stressful for everyone present even in a home caregiving situation.
Also, add markers, tape and paper to your hospital ready bag or ‘go bag’ so that you are able to make signs as needed.