Navigating the hospital experience during a global pandemic can be emotional. Keep your loved one’s spirits up and let them know they’re loved, whether at their bedside or from afar. These tips on how to support a loved one in the hospital will keep you connected during a complicated time.
Keep your loved one and the others in the hospital safe by limiting your in-person time with them. As we age, our immune systems can take a bit of a dip. Even if you’ve just got a little sniffle, stay away if you don’t feel well. Talk to hospital staff about their visitation policy and schedule visits accordingly. They may offer options for video calls. When you do visit your loved one in person, wear personal protective equipment and practice social distancing when you can.
Be a Calm Presence
Make peace with the fact that some things are simply out of your control. Your loved one may be anxious and distressed; do what you can by taking deep breaths and meditating with them. Be a port in the storm during your loved one’s difficult time. Fretting and panicking helps nobody!
Communicate With Staff
Take an interest in your loved one’s health and well-being during their hospital stay. Meet all their doctors, nurses, and other staff involved in their care. If you or your loved one have questions about their treatment, ask them! Your friend or family member will feel better knowing that you are advocating for their health and comfort.
Be Mindful of Gifts
People in the movies send flowers and balloons to their family members in the hospital, but that’s not necessarily a best practice in the real world. Don’t send flowers or any food, and be careful with any gifts you do want to offer. Especially during a pandemic, hospitals are vigilant about possible contaminants. The best possible gift you can give your loved one is your time, whether via a video call or a socially distanced visit.
Let your loved one know you’re in their corner by staying in touch while they’re in the hospital. Take care of your own health and keep them safe by remaining mindful of all safety precautions. These tips to support a loved one in the hospital will put them more at ease during their stay.