How to Celebrate the Holidays for a Loved One in the Hospital
The winter holidays are a time when families and friends get together to celebrate and enjoy the season’s festivities. It can also be a very stressful time of year. The days are shorter, the weather is colder and many are feeling stressed. It can be an exceptionally lonely time of year for those in care facilities or hospitals. You’ve probably heard the saying, “there’s no place like home for the holidays,” but for some hospitalized people, being home for the holidays is not possible.
They may feel left out of the festivities and uncomfortable being away from family and the comforts of home. No one wants to spend the holidays in the hospital, but there are many ways family and friends can brighten up the season for a loved one who is hospitalized.
The most important and meaningful thing anyone can do for a friend or family member in the hospital is be there for them. Families and friends can take turns going to the hospital to celebrate and visit. Try keeping conversations light and avoid upsetting topics. If they are not in the mood to talk, try playing a board game or puzzle.
Bring the Festivities to the Hospital
A hospital room is no one’s idea of a festive place to spend the holidays, so bringing the traditions to a loved one can really lift their spirits. Check with the hospital and see what kind of decorations you are allowed to bring and spend some time decorating the room. Bring their favorite holiday music or movies to listen to or watch. Spending time with them while you decorate will let them know they are loved. If your loved one is able to exchange gifts, celebrate as you normally do. If they are not able to exchange gifts, try bringing them a holiday card with a nice note inside.
Bring Comfort Food
Bring special meals or treats they normally enjoy during the holidays. Preparing a favorite meal or baking holiday treats are both great ways to cheer up a hospitalized friend or family member. If they are on a restricted diet or unable to eat, ask their doctor if you could bring a favorite holiday drink like tea or hot chocolate to share.
Help Relieve Stress
For many people, the season can cause more financial stress than any other time of year. Adding an extended stay in the hospital or a serious illness to an already stressful time of year may cause your loved one to worry about their financial well-being. Finances are the last thing someone in the hospital should have to worry about. Having a cancer or hospital indemnity insurance plan in place can help ease some of the financial stress associated with a serious illness.
Visiting a hospitalized family member or friend and bringing the holiday cheer to them is a great thing to do. Ask them to let you know when they need some rest and either sit with them if they want someone there or take the opportunity to walk with family or run errands. All of these are great ways to bring the holidays to a loved one going through hospitalization.