Tips For Caring While In The Hospital

Last week David’s Refuge posted the following question on Facebook,

What is one thing you could use while you are caring for a loved one in the hospital?

According to Facebook, almost 1800 people were reached by this post.  Over 400 people responded in some way and 47 people left helpful comments.  Obviously, this is a felt need by the people we serve.

So the next time someone asks you, “What can we do for you?” hand them a copy of this blog.  It will give them some practical ways they can love on you, serve you, and remind you that you are not alone.  The first six on this list were the ones most often suggested by those who responded.  Be bold and share this with anyone who asks or even with those who don’t!

  1. Visit me in the hospital as I sit with my loved one.  All you have to do is listen to me, hug me, and remind me I am loved and not alone.
  2. Cook for me.  I long for a homecooked meal in the hospital.  My family at home would also love something that is fresh, homemade, and yummy!  Please ask what we like and don’t like.
  3. Give me a moment to take a break so I can go for a short walk, get a cup of coffee, or find a quiet place to pray.  All you have to do is sit with my loved one so they don’t feel alone.
  4. Bring me some healthy snacks.  Sometimes I can’t or don’t feel comfortable leaving my loved one when I get hungry.  If you are not sure what I like, ask me.
  5. Buy me a parking pass.  It gets very expensive to park my car every day to visit my loved one.  You can check in with the social worker at the hospital to see how best to do this.
  6. Create a gift basket of toiletries and gift items.  Have you ever used hospital tissue paper?  You can use it to sand wood!  Here are some ideas of what to include: toothpaste, a toothbrush, soft tissue paper, chapstick, Tylenol, ibuprofen, water bottles, pens and paper, stamps, eye mask.  Don’t be afraid to ask me what I need.
  7. Drop off an extra cell phone charger.  Often in the rush to get to the hospital, I forget to bring my charger.  If I don’t need it I will tell you.  Just the idea that you thought of this will make me feel loved.
  8. Coffee!  Coffee!  Coffee!
  9. Sleeping is tough in the hospital.  I would love a soft blanket, a small soft pillow, or even a small foam or air mattress.  Before you bring me one of these, give me a call to see if I need them.
  10. Pray for me.  Pray for healing, for my fear and anxiety, and for peace.
  11. Clean my house.  I’ll be honest, I’m embarrassed for you to see my home, but I need your help and I have to lay aside my pride for my family.
  12. Offer to run an errand for me.  I still have other kids to pick up at school, cars that need oil changes, and dry cleaning to be delivered.
  13. Call me or text me.  Don’t be afraid to ask how my loved one is doing.  I need to hear your voice.