Someone you love is in the hospital. Or maybe your loved one is already home recuperating OR he or she is struggling with a chronic condition. Although patients these days use cell phones and computers, some hospitals or units (like intensive care) don’t allow them, and sometimes people just aren’t well enough to keep up with their digital lives.
So how do you connect with someone who is seriously under the weather? Thankfully, there are many simple gifts that suit anyone’s budget, ability to visit and access to technology. And remember: Whatever your gift, even one that seems small to you, it’s sure to make a big difference in the life of anyone needing some TLC.
Send a card with something extra
Include photos, a gift card for coffee, a meal out, a massage, a manicure—whatever small delight you can afford.
Brighten up a room
Deliver flowers, balloons, a framed inspirational message with colorful art—anything that adds beauty, color or even fun to their surroundings.
Little things mean a lot
Give a little token like a seashell, religious or other symbol or figurine/plush figure of their favorite animal or cartoon character—something easy to take anywhere as a reminder that you care.
The best medicine
Make ’em laugh with funny cards, clips from the internet, daily forwarded email cartoons and texted jokes. (Did you know that laughter can lower both blood pressure and blood sugar?)
Keep boredom at bay
Provide crossword puzzles, computer games, magazines, books, ebooks, a deck of cards—anything that entertains their brains.
You’ve got free-mail!
Many hospitals provide free email message services on their websites: You send a message and the hospital prints it off and delivers it to the patient. And there are thousands of ecards available to send online.
Food is comfort
Send pizza, a home-cooked meal or deli tray to the patient’s family at the hospital…or perhaps a catered meal or week of meals to a patient at home.
Give of yourself
Read to someone or just stop by to listen. Help with laundry and cleaning. Offer to walk pets. Cook a meal or drop off a ready-to-eat roasted chicken and a salad. Give rides to appointments or run errands.