When we have a family member or friend 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. Children who are hospitalized, often have a parent stay with them, so their home and work commitments are put on pause.
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.
- If there is another child at home offer your time to help watch them, bring them to school, activities and to the hospital.
- 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.
- Cards are great but also going the virtual route. Sending E-Cards, making a video on YouTube or JibJab to help brighten up their day.
- 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 doing. 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.
- Offering to food shop and mail packages can also help a person who is exhausted and over stressed.