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Expecting a hospital stay? Here are 5 things to bring along

Most of us have had to spend some time in the hospital for a day or a more extensive stay. Even if you haven’t, you’re likely close to someone who has.

If you or someone you’re taking care of has a hospital stay coming up, bring along these five essential items to make things easier.

1. Tablet

Some hospitals limit the number of visitors patients can have. A tablet is a great way to keep in touch with the people you care about. You can use any number of apps for video calls, such as Zoom, Google Meet and FaceTime. WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger also have built-in video calling.

You can access streaming apps on a tablet and enjoy your favorite movies and TV shows. It’ll be easier on your eyes than on a tiny phone screen, and you’ll get better detail.

In addition to a larger screen, tablets generally offer more battery life than smartphones and many more affordable options.

Check out Amazon’s Fire HD 10, the company’s largest and fastest tablet. It includes a 1920 x 1080p display and 12 hours of battery life. Choose from 32GB or 64GB internal storage. You can utilize Alexa for hands-free operation or turn it off entirely.

RELATED: Tablet buying guide: How to choose the best tablet based on your needs and budget

2. Charger

All your devices need power to keep from becoming expensive paperweights. You’ll want to pack your wall charger to keep your phone, tablet or laptop juiced up.

Different devices have different power needs. Tablets and laptops support higher charging rates than smartphones. So that little charger that came with your phone won’t do as much for larger devices.

Here’s one do-it-all solution. The compact and durable Anker 735 charger has three ports to take care of all your devices simultaneously. When you connect three devices, power will be distributed efficiently between ports to ensure you get the best charge.

Connect a single device to get a 65W max charge — that’s enough to power up a MacBook Pro 13-inch at full speed.

RELATED: Are you buying the correct chargers and cables for your devices? Check this chart

3. Extra-long cables

You have outlets nearby or extension cords to power up your devices at home. This is usually not the case in a hospital. Your bed may be too far away from any outlet for a standard cable to reach.

You’ll want a long, durable cable that won’t fail. Amazon Basics offer a slew of cables of every connection type and length you need.

Many current laptops, phones and tablets use USB-C, including MacBooks and iPads. This 10-foot USB-C to USB-C 2.0 cable is made of braided nylon fiber cloth, so it’s strong and flexible.

This Amazon Basics cable supports charging up to 60W, and data transfer speeds up to 480Mbps.

4. Power bank

You may not always have access to a wall outlet in the hospital, especially if you can’t get out of bed. Keep a power bank by your side to keep your devices topped off.

Power banks come in all sizes to fit your needs. Anker produces some of the best power banks, and the 313 hits the perfect point between price, power and portability. It’s small enough to fit in your laptop bag or purse, yet it can charge an iPhone 13 from 0% to full at least twice.

The Anker 313 is one of the slimmest and lightest 10,000mAh portable chargers on the market. With a 4.6 rating and more than 65,000 reviews, you won’t find anything better — especially not at this price point.

5. Keep your belongings secure

Stuff gets lost in the hospital, and they will likely not compensate you if this happens. Keeping your things close by and organized is easy with the right bag.

The Tomtoc Portfolio case has room for everything we’ve listed here and more: tablet, laptop, cables, charger, power bank, phone, pens, thumb drives and your wallet.

It’s drop-tested and water-resistant, with a hard shell exterior that protects your things from falls and bends.

Bonus: Download movies and music to enjoy offline

Download some shows and movies to watch offline if the hospital’s Wi-Fi is spotty. Here are steps for two of the most popular streaming services.

Download content from Netflix

To download from Netflix, you’ll need the latest version of the app on your iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet, Amazon Fire tablet or Windows 10/11 computer. Note that not all titles are available for download. Here’s how to download available content:

  • Open the Netflix app and tap Downloads.
  • Select See What You Can DownloadFind Something to DownloadFind More to Download or Available for Download, depending on your device.
  • Select a TV show or movie.
  • From the description page, tap Download.
  • For TV shows, Download will appear next to each available episode.
  • You’ll also get a Download Season option if you’re on an Android.
  • Once you have your content, go to Downloads to find the title you want to watch.

Download content from Spotify

With Spotify Premium, you can download albums, playlists and podcasts. You can only download podcasts on the free version. Here’s how to get your content offline:

  • Open the Spotify app and go to what you want to download. (Note: You can’t download individual songs, but you can put them in a playlist and download the playlist.)
  • Tap the down arrow to download to Your Library. A green arrow indicates the download was successful.
  • To access your offline content, tap Home > Settings > Playback.
  • Switch Offline on.

You may also like: Essential tech for caregivers

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