Using CaringBridge Wellbeing

How to Support a Friend in the Hospital

How to Support a Friend in the Hospital

You’ve just found out a family member or friend is in the hospital. You want to show you’re thinking about them. What would help the most? Flowers, a visit? Or maybe something to help them pass the time?

We asked CaringBridge families – the true experts – how to support a friend in the hospital. Here’s what they said:

6 Best Ways to Make a Friend’s Hospital Stay Better

1. Ask Before Visiting

While many people appreciate visits, it’s not always possible due to hospital rules or how the patient is feeling. Call ahead to find out if your friend can have visitors and feels well enough to see you.

  • “I usually make it a practice to not visit someone in hospital, as I do not want visitors (other than immediate family) when I am there.” – Jan
  • “In the local hospital [our daughter] had lots of visits, but after she was moved (about an hour away) she didn’t get as many visits – the visits were great for her (wish she had more), but even better for us because we got to take a little break. We did end up doing some face-time and Skype with a few people for her and that was great as well.” – Joann

2. Help Out Without Being Asked

When it comes to taking care of things back at the house, don’t wait for your friend to ask for help – they have so much on their mind. Just take care of the yard work and whatever needs doing.

  • “Please don’t say this, ‘If you need something please let me know!’ Instead, bring food to the house, mow their yard, purchase a gas card, send cards, and visit when you can. DO something helpful.” – Pat
  • “They did things for our family without asking. They made sure our pets and yard were cared for, they made us meals, and they were there.” – Kayla

3. Give a Goodie Bag & Small Gifts

The most common advice: Give small gifts or a goodie bag to keep someone with a lot of time on her hands entertained.

  • “Give them a goodie bag with things to occupy them…magazines, puzzles, decks of cards, writing and drawing pads, stamps, an iPad, books, lots of books” – Elaine
  • “An occasional flower (no need for a bouquet), a magazine, a cute picture. Small gestures of love.” – Darcy
  • “Lots of movies and books to pass the time. Ask friends to bring healthy snacks and meals and coffee cards!” – Marlana

4. Bring Reminders of Home

Little pieces of home are a way to personalize a hospital room. Their regular pillow, favorite coffee mug, photos, or the local paper can help the new environment and schedule feel normal.

  • “Bring your own pillow and pillow case and a comfy blanket.“ – Marlana
  • “The thing that helped me the most wasn’t a person. It was a red decorative pillow. It smelled of home and helped keep the homesickness at bay.” – Jodye

5. Feed Them

A home-cooked meal in the hospital can be rare, so it’s extra-appreciated. For family of the patient, gift cards to local restaurants give them a change from the hospital cafeteria.

  • “To show support: I think bringing the parents of children in the hospital a nice home cooked meal. There’s only so much fast food one wants to eat plus it gets expensive.” – Nikki
  • “Bring food to the house, that is the greatest gift.” – Janice
  • “All our hospital stays included a plastic box that could fit under the bed filled with favourite snacks and drinks, bottled water, your own mug for the tea.” – Lena

6. Offer Notes and Well Wishes

Whether it’s a card in the mail or a message on a CaringBridge website, encouraging words can go a long way to boosting someone’s spirits.

  • “Just staying in touch was so needed……knowing we weren’t forgotten. Never underestimate how important a note or a text message is. They are vital.” – Toni
  • “As an adult cards were the most appreciated.” – Darcy
  • “First thing would be to sign up for CaringBridge and let everyone know how to get to your page. I was hospitalized in a city far away from my friends and family so in person visits were rare. The joy of the comforting and encouraging words were a tremendous help. It creates a community of people who are caring about you and that is an awesome feeling.” – Jeff

Read all the responses on our Facebook page.

What Would You Add?

How do you show your support when someone you care about is in the hospital? If you’ve had a long hospital stay, what did your friends do that meant the most? Share your tips for how to support a friend in the hospital below.

Are you caring for someone during a hospital stay? If so, consider starting a CaringBridge website for them, where you can share health updates and receive encouragement and support from your community.

Start A Site

Comments (87)

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Kay Lowe Mar 07, 2018 6:34pm
I am so sorry that I screwed up my first post. I just wanted you to know that I'm praying for your complete and total healing. May the peace and love of God be with you tomorrow and all through your recovery. Prayers also for your family, that they too may know and feel the peace and love of the Lord. Blessings
Judith A. Huck Mar 02, 2018 6:47am
Always willing to help out someone who is unable to do on their own. If I'm running errands it's always nice to pick up much needed groceries or whatever needs may be. I sincerely mean I am there for you
Sapna Ravka Feb 22, 2018 6:24pm
This was wonderful statements
Kathy Johnson Feb 11, 2018 8:31am
Very helpful listing, I like the quotes. The concept for your site is amazing!
Angela Jan 10, 2018 6:29pm
Sitting with a family member at the hospital is helpful -- just to be there for them shows you care and helps them as they care for their ill family member.
Carole Ann Brumbles Jan 10, 2018 4:16pm
Hi Kaye, I miss our visits at the garage. Love you.
Lili Toutounas Dec 25, 2017 1:22pm
Dear Anya- My father and I think of you and pray for you every day. We ask that God will give you the strength to fully recover from your ordeal and to restore you to good health. We give you our love Lili and Demetrius
LuAnn Hultgren Nov 12, 2015 10:15am
When we were at the hospital many months, I would've appreciated people bringing food there for us. They were so kind to bring it to our home, but we were 90 miles away. People would accompany us to the cafeteria, if we had a chance to get away, but that's all we ate! The Ronald McDonald House was wonderful in groups making meals and one could take them in to go boxes.
Maya Nov 08, 2015 9:42am
You could also pay a visit and come with a small present.
Maya Nov 08, 2015 9:40am
Thats great! Those are great ideas
Sarah Oct 28, 2015 2:35am
Here's an idea I would never have thought of before our family was affected. Because our family member was in the hospital in a city far from where we lived, we have numerous expenses for travel, staying in a hotel, eating meals out, that really took a financial toll. I would encourage friends to consider putting together financial donations to help families cope with unexpected expenses. When our family member's employer did that for us, it helped far more than people sending little gifts that weren't really useful, etc. Everyone wanted to help and did what they could see to do, but financial help was by far the most like a lifeline for us.
Gloria Olson Oct 22, 2015 10:39am
I now have two on your site that I am following. Some time ago I made a donation to the site in honor of the person. My question, is it your practice to notify the family of this donation?
Pat Oct 21, 2015 12:48pm
Spouses or care givers that are traveling long distance from home to visit their loved one at a hospital appreciated gas cards.
Cheryl Oct 19, 2015 1:01pm
Trying to leave a post for my friend I keep on trying no results!
    Michelle Van Engen Oct 22, 2015 8:53am
    Hi Cheryl, Please contact our Customer Care team for help. Best, Michelle
Cheryl Oct 19, 2015 9:59am
Hello Thank you for bringing me in to your site. I have a lungbuddy in the hospital, in fact she was one of the first person at Duke Hospital,clinic / rehab.we worked out together with many Friends. I just needed to say to her I. Praying for you everyday you are strong woman ! Keep your chin up High! Love you Hugs And Always Smiles & Laughter Cheryl
Mimi Oct 02, 2015 7:33pm
After a week in the hospital, a friend arrived to wash and blowdry my hair, gave me a manicure, pedicare and foot rub and it was heaven. She then left me the cute new manicure set as a gift.
Sureshchandra Sep 29, 2015 7:13pm
Excellent.Unique and ideal way.Thanks.
Kathy Sep 07, 2015 12:14am
If you are a parent of a sick child. As I was in 2007 to 2009. It would have been so great to have family there to sit with her for a bit so I could have a break from the hospital for a few hours, or maybe a night to sleep in my own bed. Seen my boys. So if you could offer that to someone.
Caren Holliday Sep 04, 2015 11:20pm
Make a personal greeting card keeper: I take a shoe box, cover w/white (or any solid color) wrapping paper, use peel'n stick letters from a sheet purchased at Hobby Lobby or Michael's, put their name on the front of the wrapping paper covered box w/the letters, secure a bow to the top & glue colorful flowers, animals, etc from used greeting cards all over the outside of the wrapping paper covered box. Usually I pick a theme, all birds, all flowers, all animals, etc depending on the person. This gives them a place to keep the many thoughtful well wishing greeting cards they receive. It also keeps the cards handy to open the box & RE-read when feeling alone & sad.
Deb Sep 02, 2015 9:18pm
When my husband ill people brought pizza and gift cards for pizza. In their minds pizza was an easy meal. We could do pizza easy. It was the home cooked meals we missed and didn't have access to.
Rose lister Aug 31, 2015 3:13pm
Pray for them and there family in a very hard time and if it is you going throw this do not be a fradde to tell a friend on how they can help you out
athina alexandridou Aug 25, 2015 12:33pm
i usually say a lot of funny thinks that make them laugh, and i laugh myself, like we are not in the hospital, like we are out for coffe or a snack, ( i have those things with me also many times). i don't focus on their difficult position i focus on what we are going to do when we are out together, what film we are going to see at the cinema, what kind of food we are going to eat in the restaurant we are planning to go and things like that, so i feel and let them feel also, like everything are done, everything is ok and the life goes on.....better and better, when we are doing things out together, out of the hospital i always ask what they liked most so we can help others in the same position next time that it will be needed.
Patti M. Aug 23, 2015 4:23pm
Since we had to move from the East to the West Coast for a life saving heart transplant. I would have to say FaceTIme (with my kids, family and friends), cards, phone calls, little gifts (lifted my spirits) and Caring Bridge were my life lines. It is not just the hospital stays but I feel as though you have so many people rallying around you and when you continue to recover you still need love, support and calls as you continue healing.
Joan Eads Aug 22, 2015 3:53pm
Pray also let other Christians know and have their church members pray. Keep them in formed.
Your cousin, Peggy Aug 21, 2015 2:01pm
Ashley, My heart aches thinking of the road ahead of you. However, after reading the comments from your friends and other family members, you have grown into a strong woman and have wonderful support that will guide you through this. I can't help but remember you as a little baby, a toddler and then a little girl. I would always pretend that you were my child when I babysat you. Your grandparents and your mom and dad were great about letting me come visit as I was only a child myself. I'm sure I had to get on their nerves but they were all so kind to me. Its funny how the time has gone by for both of us. Please know that all of your Charleston family is praying for you, Michael and your boys. Love and hugs to you all.
Jane Aug 21, 2015 11:04am
above all let the one in the hospital or at home and their families know you are praying and thinking of them. We have gone through different situations and not many seem to take the time to call or send a card.
Dave Crosier Aug 21, 2015 5:37am
Our son Jon has been in the hospital for 35 days now and Mom & Dad have gone 34 day to see him. And gas,easy pass has help but main thing is our son Jon. His age is 29 birthday is the 30 of this month its got be special for him he is alive and doing better than the early days we pray that he gets home soon a least a break. We know there will be other times coming not sure when.
J Brown Aug 20, 2015 11:18pm
I always thought having visitors in the hospital was a good thing. The last time I was in the hospital I had so many visitors and I was too sick to even talk. My hair and body were a mess and on top of feeling sick I was embarrassed by my appearance. The tips above are great and now I know what to do when someone I know goes into the hospital.
Joann Dettmann Aug 20, 2015 10:01pm
Read a book together. Bring photos to share. Ask about tape player and what kind of music. Pray if appropriate. Ask questions like can you tell me how yor feeling today?
Lynn Abare Aug 20, 2015 9:08pm
Before visiting, stop by their home and take pics of the kids or their pets. It will always bring a smile. If you have helped around the house, take a pic of the final result so the patient doesn't feel left out of the process.--- And let them have some input from the hospital bed, rehab or even from the bedroom. No matter how close you are, you are still stepping into someone else's life. I went to Tennessee this winter to clean my elderly friend's home for her. She now lives near me in Alaska and she hasn't been been able to get it ready to rent, sell or move back into. When I finished I took pics of every cabinet (with the doors open) the closets and every room and we went over all the details when I got home. And when she was able to get there this month, she already knew what it looked like. She didn't feel like a stranger walking into her own home. I was able to clean out and arrange a friend's tool box in his garage by pics. He had had a brain stem stroke and I was his caretaker. He is very detail oriented and was able to keep control if his tools because of the pics.
Pam Weinberg Aug 20, 2015 5:18pm
Excellent ideas from everyone! I have been hospitalized more than I would like to remember, however, during my long stays I always made sure I had my favorite music and earbuds/earphones. It not only helps to close your eyes and listen to music, but it also drowns out the continual "noise" of a hospital. It often helped me to fall asleep as well.
Brett Dorsch Aug 20, 2015 4:54pm
Josh Thinking about you and praying for you. Miss you brother
Sandra Danielson Aug 20, 2015 4:51pm
Having been hospitalized for several months, I would add: a soft throw, pillows from home, shower wash with a sponge and body lotion, comfy and fun slippers, towels from home, antiseptic wipes, nail clippers, a stuffed animal to snuggle, soft Kleenex.
Deb J Aug 20, 2015 2:31pm
When my husband was going through cancer treatments and also spent some time in the hospital for surgeries, homemade dinner kits and hot dishes were a welcome sight for me to help quickly feed my kids when I got home. Also, gas cards were so welcome, as we traveled 1 1/2 hours to the hospital for each chemo & radiation treatment. We had an 88yr old relative mow our lawn a few times because he knew it was one of the few ways he could help. So nice of him. My husband appreciated cards and phone calls the most, since his diet was watched pretty closely. Visits were nice, too.
Joanna Aug 20, 2015 12:42pm
Adult colouring books with coloured pencils they are wonderful and help the soul feel peaceful & rested
Anita Jones Aug 20, 2015 10:27am
I like to take a bag of wrapped candy to give to the nurses
Bonnie Aug 20, 2015 9:13am
I purchased a large container of Jelly Beans and attached a note for those who visited our friend in a coma to help themselves....knowing that she would be grateful. The nurses and doctors loved to check in on her!
Sue carnes Aug 20, 2015 8:31am
Offer to sit with the patient, and let family have some time to relax and also get some needed things done!
Kim Wagley Aug 20, 2015 8:29am
Hospitals are dry, so lotions and lip balms are a great gift. For a patient who suddenly has very few choices they are allowed to make, an assortment of lip balm flavors gives them something over which they have control. Also, if the hospital is a teaching hospital, many people in white coats will be coming in and asking the same questions. When my son was going in and out of the hospital almost monthly for 2 years, I had a typed document that answered the most common questions so that I could focus on him, not on the intern or resident learning to take a history. I always answered questions that were not on the document, but I respectfully asked them to read that first. I also had a pad of paper and a pen on the table in the room and respectfully asked everyone in a white coat to sign in, giving me name and specialty, and end their visit with a comment as to major finding because we saw so many white coats each day that it was confusing. I often did not know every name and when someone would ask me "was so and so in to see him yet?" I could refer them to the pad. It also made it easier for me to stay accurately up to date by reading it over myself. I helped other moms make these for their children and it provided some relief during stressful stays.
Linda Aug 20, 2015 8:27am
All of the previous suggestions are great. If someone is needed to stay with the patient while in the hospital, offer to stay for a few hours with the patient. Once home if the patient is still incapacitated, be willing to stay for a few hours so that the caregiver is able to get out for a little while. Also, use social media and email to keep family and friends updated on the progress of the patient. Ask them to pray and be specific. Their feedback also keeps the caregiver(s) uplifted.
Jean Turner Aug 20, 2015 7:52am
These are all very helpful and thoughtful ideas.
Kelly Solomon Aug 20, 2015 7:05am
This is a great list! My friends have texted me & my Mom & son have been here a few times to visit. I came in Monday & am going home later this afternoon!!
Pat Aug 20, 2015 6:19am
Be very careful about bringing food. For example, even bringing food for caregivers of patients who will now be tube-fed can be kind of hurtful to the patient who is learning to accept that they may never eat normal food again. Some patients may not have fruit or fresh vegetables due to compromised immune systems. For these types of patients, the other types of gifts like parking passes, games, thank-you cards, etc. are wonderful! My favorite was neighbors who mowed my lawn and made sure my driveway was always plowed while my husband was dying. It as the day-to day stuff that was hard to maintain.
Lizzy Aug 20, 2015 2:06am
The closer you are, the more you know a patient's special needs & likes. Hospital gifts often provide an opportunity to give a gift from a group of friends. You can organize, & gather funds to buy that special gift your friend loves but would never splurge on for themselves. Someone organized a beautiful picture quilt for a relative practically overnight. My sister's remembered the French, triple-milled soap I adore that smells of pears.❤ As someone who's spent a lot of time in-hosp; a large, labeled, brightly colored toolbox with medications, dressings, doctors orders, etc.or anything else I'm expected to take home & use is such a tedious job no one seems to think of it. It's my favorite gift & always well received. Or help your friend put together a medical history & physical. 1. Name, date of birth, phone number & address. 2. Every medication they take, how much, & how often, what for & who prescribed it. 3. Every medication they are allergic to & what the reaction is (hives, wheezing, shock, etc. 3. Every surgery, broken bone, or serious injury in their life & the date plus any complications. 4. Their doctor's names, phones & addresses. 5. Print at least 3 copies; 1 for their home files 1 for their wallet & one to take to office visits. Taking a patient's History & Physical used to take up a large part of my day until I put together a one page document for patient's to keep that included every detail. When we're tired or hurt, it is difficult to remember details, especially as we age & details accumulate. You might even spend a charmed visit learning something you never knew about your friend at a time that information really helps them. Lizzy
N Anderson Aug 20, 2015 12:21am
Each of the grandkids(4) brought a little beanie type stuffed animal to keep Grandma company .
Colin and Kathryn Taylor Aug 19, 2015 11:53pm
Ask tbem if they would like you to pray with them and for them.
Maryjo Flamm-Miller Aug 19, 2015 10:39pm
#1 Make a music tape of cheerful tunes. Music will help the sick person relax and heal faster. #2 Pay for a massage for the caregiver. #3 Ask people to listen to messages recorded on your home phone for updates. That way the caregiver doesn't have to call people back and tell the same news over and over again. Caregivers are tired at the end of the day. Making phone calls is the last thing they want to do. #4 Do their laundry and clean their bathrooms.
Kettly Bellevue Aug 19, 2015 10:32pm
For me a visit is always the best but I know is not always possible. Some home cook meals. A text from a friend always good too if visit is not possible.
Carol Aug 19, 2015 9:26pm
Be a good " listening" ear...nonjudgmental, ...of course that person would have earned friendship before, but to be there...is so important when a sick one needs an ear...if you say it, mean it, ...the caller friend should call and say" just checking in". And then, the sick patient will call when they need your " listening ear". Means a lot! Also, if a person had cancer, please know that after a person may be lucky enough to be a survivor..to keep in the back of your mind that that life altering cancer, may have caused changes that continue to be treated, and that may include heavy medication or life changes that will be with the person forever. It wasn't really a here today, gone tomorrow disease...pain, digestive issues, dietary changes, fear, anxiety..etc. , all may continue lifelong, so please be helpful in understanding that, and treat the person sensitively. Thank you.
Carol Aug 19, 2015 9:16pm
Be a good " listening" ear...nonjudgmental, ...of course that person would have earned friendship before, but to be there...is so important when a sick one needs an ear...if you say it, mean it, ...the caller friend and call and say" just checking in". But the sick patient will call when they need your " listening ear". Means a lot!
Veronica Curtis-Richie Aug 19, 2015 9:13pm
Offer to take the sick persons personal items home to wash and return. Offer to take children to their afterschool activities such as ballet, art, ball practice, etc. Offer to help out another family that depended on the sick person for groceries, Drs. appt. etc.
Veronica Curtis-Richie Aug 19, 2015 9:10pm
Offer to take the kids on their regular afterschool Activities, Ball practice, Ballet, Art Class, etc. Offer to take home their personal items to wash and return. Offer to take family members who don't drive to the hospital for a visit. Offer support to other family members that depended on the sick person for errands to doctor, grocery, prepare a meal, etc.
Denise T. Aug 19, 2015 8:31pm
Very important to avoid lengthy visits or too many visitors as often this is very tiring for the patient. Be attentive to the time when visiting so that you do not tire the patient
Edye Aug 19, 2015 8:27pm
If a pet is allowed in the hospital make sure they're up to date on shots and take them for a visit..
gini Aug 19, 2015 8:27pm
So appreciate your sharing your recommendations of patient support. Please continue to offer suggestions that will help convalescing persons recover more easily and more quickly. Also bringing treat(s)to the nursing and assistants can make a hospital stay more pleasant and monitored for the patient and the staff.
Brian Gamley Aug 19, 2015 8:16pm
I have spent considerable time in hospital for removal of part of lung and SCT. I hated asking and never did, but we found parking excessively priced. When a friend had the same SCT we purchased a parking pass for them 1 week at a time. This was a great relief for them in not only finances but time. With the pass you just input the card and slide in/out. No limit as per time.
Mary Aug 19, 2015 8:11pm
Visits from family and friends, cards, flowers, basket of goodies, phone calls, text messages, prayers, all these things helped with healing. And having wonderful nurses, CNAs and PTs all played a big part in my healing.
Amiee Coffey Aug 19, 2015 7:54pm
When in hospital I really emjoyed Thank you notes, pens and stamps and writing paper to keep track of gifts I received, etc.
Elaine Aug 19, 2015 7:17pm
Little wrapped gifts with a date to open them is nice for children in the hospital.
Susan W Aug 19, 2015 6:36pm
Helping without being asked is great, as long as you make certain that you don't overstep. "Your house was a mess the last time I was there, so if you'll give me your keys I'll go and clean it" is not what you want to hear when you're already stressing about your child in the hospital.
Debbie Aug 19, 2015 3:55pm
My girlfriend came & braided my hair... I had tried to teach my husband but he couldn't do it....also we had rushed to ER IN MIDDLE OF NIGHT so someone going to house to wash dishes & vacuum was much appreciated once I went home
Goldie P Aug 19, 2015 3:52pm
Several people have said call before visiting, because many patients don't want visitors. I was different. I unexpectedly spent a month in the hospital due to complications from major surgery. I was *so* lonely. Visits were crucially important to me. So please don't assume that nobody wants visitors. Calling and checking is probably a good idea, but if they say they'd like a visit, please follow through. Don't disappoint somebody who's sick and lonely by giving them the idea that you'll visit and then not showing up. My other suggestion... soft, cotton handkerchiefs. My nose got so sore from the rough hospital tissues, and even nice brand-name tissues felt rough. But the lotion in premium tissues like Puffs Plus With Lotion kind of gagged me and made it hard to breathe. The only thing that soothed my chapped nose (and face) was my dad's 100% cotton men's handkerchiefs. He brought me one every morning and I kept it in the pocket of my hospital gown all day.
Kathy Aug 19, 2015 3:50pm
When I was in the hospital I did not want visitors as I was exhausted from my 10 hour surgery. Seven days in a room with doctors and nurses interrupting your sleep day and night is no vacation. I will say when you post that you have cancer you receive a lot of mixed reactions. I received a lot of cards that were more sympathy oriented than uplifting. This can make a person even more depressed. My best advise to others is to put yourself in the patient's shoes and do for them as you would want done if you were in that same situation. Most people did not understand that I am now on a restricted diet and that my surgery was life altering. Do some research. People that have been in my shoes are truly the only one I wish to speak with because they too get tired of the "how are you feeling"
Barbara B. Cantor Aug 19, 2015 3:40pm
When mailing a note to a hospitalized person, always put their home return address on the envelope, since they may be transferred to a Rehab Facility, etc., family will always deliver their mail to them.
Nancy Sellers Aug 19, 2015 3:03pm
The person's favorite fruit as well as extra fruit to share with family and friends.
Tom Morofski Aug 19, 2015 2:33pm
Visits are wonderful, familier faces bring comfort. Just remember to keep the visits short and personal. No siting in a chair playing with your I-phone or otherwise looking bored. Do the very best you can to smile and stay positive no matter the situation ... go out of the room if you must cry. Remember that the Lord is with you, and if appropriate, remind the patient that Jesus promise never to leave them is iron clad. Again, if appropriate, ask if the patient would like to pray with you. Smile, stay positive and encouraging especially as you leave.
Carla Aug 19, 2015 2:24pm
Make a phone call to the person in the hospital, if it's appropriate. It's always nice to hear a voice of someone and know they are thinking of you.
Nancy Aug 19, 2015 2:17pm
Home cooked food is very much appreciated, but be sure to check with the hospital to make sure it's ok. The patient may be on a restricted diet. Family that has been eating hospital cafeteria food or fast food would most definitely appreciate it.
Nancy V Aug 19, 2015 2:01pm
Nice scented soap, Cologne spray and scented talc are great. I was in the hospital and then rehab for 3 months. Got two showers a week and welcomed the nice smelling stuff between times. It was a 100 degree summer, and the best treat was a chocolate shake from McDonalds. But check about dietary restrictions first.
Nancy V Aug 19, 2015 1:54pm
Small size scented soaps, Cologne splash, nice talc. I was in hospital and then rehab for 3 months and got two showers a week. It felt so good to know I didn't smell so bad :)
Mike Aug 19, 2015 1:46pm
When I'm in a hospital, short-term, feeling and/or looking crappy, or experiencing quite a bit of pain, I don't care for visits, yet prayers and cards are always welcome.
Cynthia Horton Aug 19, 2015 1:38pm
Email club members and keep them informed if you are a leader of a group. Send a plant whenever they are not in MICU, or CICU etc. They may be allergic to certain flower smells. Contact the hospital or rehab Chaplain and ask them to make periodic visits. Keep the Church informed. Speak positive encouraging words at all times. Always pray for God's to bring relief from pain or anxiety.
Vangy Aug 19, 2015 1:37pm
A gift card to the hospital cafeteria allowed family to eat together and stay close by during a time of crisis.
Michelle Snyder Aug 19, 2015 1:36pm
Show compassion, even if you do not know the patient. When I had a major surgery last year I had a sweet elderly lady accidently come in my room by mistake. I had been crying and she asked if there was anything she could do.She sat and talked with me just about anything to take my mind off my pain for a while, when she went to leave I told her that I thought that she was an Angel from God and that there was a reason she accidently camebinto my room. Be kind to someoneeven a "hello" can brightenen someones day!
Jean S. Aug 19, 2015 1:34pm
I would give the family gift cards to their favorite restaurants, rather than bring them food. They may not have the same likes or they may not have room in their fridge/freezer for the food from friends, depending on how many people gave them food. With a gift card to their favorite restaurant, the family could order what they want, when they want it, even if it's just take out. When my husband was in the hospital for 2 months and 3 months in rehab, there were many nights when I came home I didn't even want to eat. All of the comments have excellent ideas!
EstherAsna Aug 19, 2015 1:27pm
Pray for them also :).
Joan H. Stewart Aug 19, 2015 1:26pm
Make sure your patient actually wants a visit. Most patients need the rest and talking with one or two persons is tiring ..Your visit will mean more when the patient is at home. Send cards to the hospital and to the primary care giver. This suggestion comes from a former patient who experienced surgery and a long recovery.
Brigid St Marie Aug 19, 2015 1:15pm
Excellent ideas! Thank you!
Kathy Schaeffer Aug 19, 2015 1:12pm
Great tips from Caring Bridge. For friends and family who face serious health issues, Caring Bridge has been pivotal in keeping everyone informed. ^ks
Patricia Khan Aug 19, 2015 1:08pm
Read to them an interesting, uplifting book including a bible.
barb Aug 19, 2015 1:08pm
All the above...but I would add that while the person is in the hospital...to tend to things at their home...watering plants, tending to pets, taking in the mail and papers...since leaving those laying around would be indicators that no one is home!... helping out any family that may be at the house, food, laundry and so forth... After returning home, continuing to be of aid during the recovery...house work, laundry, fixing meals...running errands...and DON'T "pat" your back about all the help you provided!!!
Sandy G. Aug 19, 2015 12:34pm
Pay for a pass to the hospital parking garage for a few days. Our local hospital charged $15.00 a day to park. It added up fast with a 16 day stay. Also, pay a few days or so for use of the cable t.v. it ran over $100.00 for just the use of the television in the room. If possible, visit during off hours, morning and afternoon if possible. Most visitors came during the evening hours during the week...it gets very lonely during the day spending it all alone.
    Michelle Van Engen Aug 19, 2015 12:41pm
    Great ideas Sandy!
Janice Mortom Aug 19, 2015 12:33pm
How do u open your caring bridge site for people to donate who r not your facebook friends?
    Michelle Van Engen Aug 19, 2015 12:41pm
    Hi Janice, For help, please contact our Customer Care team at www.CaringBridge.org/help. Best, Michelle, CaringBridge
mindy Aug 19, 2015 11:00am
I suggest a roll of super soft toilet paper and a roll of quarters in a change purse. Hospital tp is usually cheap and rough. The roll of quarters is for snackachine, drinks etc. Not because they are hungry, but it's just important to take a walk when it's possible. Now you have loose quaternary bulging from your pocket, hence the cute change purse.