When we have a family member, friend, neighbor or acquaintance hospitalized for a period of time we often wonder what we can do to help. We try to picture ourselves in their shoes and think about the amount of stress that they are under and how to help relieve it.
Sending flowers is thoughtful, but then their room can soon become over fragranced and look like a florist.
Sending toys, teddy bears, blankets and knick knacks are also nice but can add to the clutter and may not fulfill what they really need.
When a child is hospitalized than typically so is the parent. They don’t want to leave their side and they put everything else on the back burner to physically and emotionally be there for their baby.
Here are a few ideas that may help a family:
-Sending a Gift Card to Amazon or I-Tunes- This way the patient or the caregiver of the patient can buy things that will help them feel more comfortable. They can choose reading materials, music, movies or activities.
-Sending a Credit Card Gift Card- The caregivers of pediatric patients can order take out to the bedside or use it to help pay bills.
-Home Cooked Meal- Bringing a home cooked meal is always more satisfying than hospital food.
-Hiring a Housekeeper or Volunteering Your Time- The house still needs to be cleaned and taken care of when they are staying at the hospital.
-Babysitter- If there is another child at home offer your time to help watch them, bring them to school, activities and to the hospital.
-Petsitter- Either walking their dog, checking on them for food, water and some cuddle time. Maybe even taking them to your place while their family is away.
-Fundraising- Can be as small as a car wash to as large as a concert. You can also go on the web for organization like YouCaring.com to spread the word.
-Starting a Blog- Many people want to get updates on how the patient is and don’t want to keep bugging the caregivers. Someone can take on the responsibility of posting updates on a blog that they create. Caring Bridge is an organization that many child life specialists help families navigate, but WordPress and Tumblr are just as effective.
-Weekly Errands- Offering to grocery shop and going to the post office can help in a big way for a person who is exhausted and over stressed.
These are just a few alternative ways to help, but visits and phone calls also boost morale.