This blog is dedicated to every relative, friend and stranger who has given their time to help me achieve a period of life where hospitals do not play a major part, and most importantly to my parents who have lovingly cared for a most impatient patient.
When a loved one is unwell it’s easy to feel helpless.
This emotion is only intensified if that person is hospitalised. To be completely frank, when I’m in hospital, I only want to be visited by my closest friends and parents. But this can leave a lot of people who want to visit or help feeling clueless how best to help. For this reason, I’ve compiled a list of 7 ways that anyone can really help an ill person and their family through the trials and tribulations of hospitalisation:
1. Feed The Family What with spending a lot of time at the hospital, my parents had little time to look after themselves and would run out of time to shop or cook. Doing the grocery run or dropping off a cooked meal to the family in this situation saves them from having to live on junk food.
2. Stay The Night When I’m spending my nights in a hospital bed it really puts my mind at ease to know that, if my mum is at home awake with worry, she won’t be on her own. Having family members stay round has given her companionship in times of emotional need.
3. Do The Housework Popping round for a couple of hours to do some basic chores can really help a family with someone in hospital. When just one member of the household is effectively out of action, it can be very disruptive for the other family members. Helping them to maintain some sense of normality can help considerably.
4. Offer A Taxi Service Attending visiting times at 2-4pm and 6-8pm can involve a lot of travel and this can be exhausting. Having someone else take the wheel can alleviate tiredness and help to avoid dangerous situations. Furthermore on occasions when I’ve had surgery, I’ve found larger cars easier to get in and out of so, if you’ve got a nice beast of a car, why not offer to chauffeur?
5. Go Shopping When I’ve been admitted to hospital as an emergency, I’ve had absolutely no time to prepare and pack, so having someone do a toiletry run for me is a godsend. Hospitals stink as it is. I don’t want to stink too! On this note, one of the most useful gifts people have got me when I’ve had surgery is pyjamas. I hate to be grim but I’ve thrown many a jim-jam in the bin because they have been covered in blood.
6. Be The PA My parents told me that when I’ve been in hospital, they have received a constant stream of messages and phone calls from family, friends, friends of friends and (I’m not exaggerating here) people we don’t really know. Although we are grateful for every single good wish and prayer, it has often been useful to appoint a non-immediate family member to ‘man the phones’, take messages and relay updates on my condition.
7. Lend Items That Could Help Mobility aids can be expensive, especially when you might only use them for a short period. When I had my major operation, my mum’s friend lent me a wheelchair that he wasn’t using. My dad used to push it around like he was playing Grand Theft Auto and I was more scared than I was about my actual surgery, but that’s beside the point. Having the wheelchair meant that I could get from one place to another and that was all I needed.
If you have ever been hospitalised, can you suggest anything else that others can do to help out? Leave your suggestion in the comments below.