Illness and unexpected tragedies are all around us, but how can show our loved ones we care? In this time of need, even something so simple can make their hospital stay better.
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You may have noticed my posts have been a little scarce lately… My mother had experienced a recent and very unexpected extended hospital stay. She is now at home and doing a lot better!
During those ten days, I realized a lot of what helps and what doesn’t for the patient or even their immediate family.
Loved One in the Hospital? How to Show Them You Care
Find Out If They Are Up For Visitors
When they are first hospitalized, things are moving fastly! The hospital staff will be there regularly accessing them and trying to get the right treatment plan in place. It would be best for you to text or call them before stopping by just in case they are not up for having visitors.
Tip: Don’t wear any perfumes or strong scents! A lot of times they will be even more sensitive to strong smells, or they may even be experiencing breathing troubles. You would not want to aggravate their lungs any more than they may already be.
Wash or Sanitize Your Hands
Plus, be sure to thoroughly wash your hands or apply hand sanitizer when entering their room. It is always a long way to their room, and there are all kinds of germs along the way. You want to keep them and yourself as healthy as possible!
Be sure and sanitize your hands again when leaving the hospital, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth as that is an easy way to get yourself sick.
Don’t Stay too Long
Keep your visits short and sweet! They are tired and have a lot going on just trying to get better. Shorter visits are the best way to show you care. I love this recommendation of staying about 20 minutes! She also mentions to be observant, and if they are in pain or exhausted leave sooner. But, if they are on the mend, but bored you can stay longer.
If you are an immediate family member, your rules are a little different. But you would still want to use common sense, and keep their health as the top concern.
Tip: Don’t forget to knock before entering their room!
Stay Away if You Are Sick
You don’t want to expose them to a lot of new germs! And, if you are unwell, it would be best to call or text them. That away they know you are concerned about them and are taking their recovery seriously.
Most hospitals will deliver a card to them for you. For our local hospital, all you need to do is address the envelope to them with their room number.
What Type of Gifts to Get Them?
Keep in mind the hospital room is small! And, they may even have to share a room. So try to purchase smaller items like cards, small flowers like orchids, their favorite chocolate, fruit basket, snack foods, new book or magazines, or something else that they would love.
Tip: Find out their dietary restrictions first. You will hate to tempt them if it is something the hospital staff will not allow.
What tips do you have for visiting someone in the hospital? How do you help your loved one if they have an extended stay? Or if you had an extended stay what did you appreciate?