Whether we are visiting hospital for a day appointment, as an in-patient or a visitor it can be a challenging place. Hospitals are wonderful spaces of healing and expertise but they are also often places where some of the most intense things we live through happen. This alone can make them very charged and very challenging.
But there’s lots we can do to make a hospital stay easier, for ourselves or for a friend, colleague or family member.
Bring a Bag
If you’ve had to get to hospital quickly you may not have brought anything with you and even if you have had time to pack and prep you’ve probably forgotten something! Useful often forgotten items include: flip flops, lip balm, hand lotion, hair bands and pins, warm socks, phone charger, pack of cards, notepad and pens, postcards and stamps for staying in touch, books and audio books loaded onto an iPod, eye mask, pillow, snacks and relaxation tools. We make a box just for hospitals filled with many of these items, just place your order here.
Gifts and letters
If you are in hospital for more than a week or so, contact with the outside world becomes ever more essential. Even if you can’t have visits, people can text you, call, write and even send a Healing Box filled with your favourite ethical wellness goodies.
If you are visiting, think outside the usual flowers and grapes (often not allowed on many wards) and ask what the person in hospital might find really useful. Here at Healing Boxes we’ve created bespoke boxes with small gifts and cards to open every day, a hospital stay advent calendar, handmade pillow cases covered in positive messages and even a bespoke sickness bowl!
Make Updates Easy
When you are ill, you may have many people caring about you and concerned. But in these days of social media when we are connected to so many people, just dealing with that amount of enquiries and calls can be exhausting. Try using CaringBridge. It’s a wonderful non-profit organisation that lets you keep your loved ones up to date, organise support and keep your spirits up with the maximum ease.
Get the Gifts You Need
There’s no denying that being ill can be an expensive business. And while we can be grateful at the outpouring of support which can surround a sudden illness, it’s unfortunate that sometimes money is spent on what we don’t really want or need, when there’s so much we do.
We give gifts to celebrate a new life with baby gifts, the joining of two lives, with a marriage gift, and we need to celebrate the saving of a life too. That’s why Diem has set up the Medical Gift Registry. You can register for everything you need to heal, from upgrading your wheelchair, or buying a new wig, to a cleaner to come or peonies delivered because they make you smile every time you see them. Check out the Medical Gift Registry here and don’t forget to register your Healing Box too!
You know every time someone says, “Well, let me know if there’s anything I can do”, and you know there’s so much to do but you just can’t think right at that moment? There’s an app for that! Caring co-ordination apps and websites have sprung up in the last few years and they are invaluable. Check out the Standwith app, coming soon, and get your care flowing.
Maybe it’s a white noise machine, maybe it’s our Sleep CD loaded onto your phone, but having a relaxation tool with you in hospital can be such a boon. I am currently enjoying the Breathe meditation app, but share your favourite relaxation apps with us on Twitter!
Sleep is essential for healing but sleep in hospital can be hard. It really helps to bring your own pillow, ask for double sheets if possible. And see if you can wear your own pyjamas or if not, a Healing Threads gown.
What do you do to make hospital stays easier? Tell us on social media.