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Helping a Friend Through a Hospital Stay

Helping a Friend Through a Hospital Stay


Whether it was an accident or illness that landed them in the hospital, having a loved one in need of serious medical care can be scary. You’ll want to show your support and be there for them in every way possible, but it can be a delicate balance when your loved one is facing health problems. If you’re looking for the best ways to help your friend through a hospital stay, incorporate these caring acts and help them and their family get through it.

Ask Before You Visit

Most likely, your friend will appreciate visits, but don’t assume. Beyond hospital rules that might bar you from entering, your friend might not be feeling well enough to receive visitors. Before you head to the hospital, be sure that you call ahead and find out whether or not they can have visitors and if they’re in the right mental headspace for you to come around. If hospital rules don’t allow you in, make sure you plan Skype or Facetime dates so you can still spend some quality time with them.

Household Duties

If you’re unable to visit your friend in the hospital, or you want to do more than provide a friendly face, consider what you can do to help their family out back at home. If they have little ones, this is likely a very confusing and scary time for them, since it’s possible either their mom or dad is in the hospital. Do what you can to keep things as normal as possible for the youngsters. Take them to any extracurricular activities they might take part in, pack lunches they can take to school, and drop off healthy meals in the evening to make sure they’re eating well. If your friend’s spouse is having a hard time handling it all, pick up some groceries for them, or hire a service to deliver all the grocery essentials right to their door. If they’re worried about keeping the house in order, hire a cleaning service to go over and keep it spick and span while they’re in the hospital.

A Boredom Care Package

If your friend will be in the hospital for an extended stay, you can bet boredom will set in early. Make sure they’re kept busy and distracted by putting together a boredom-fighting care package. Fill it with adult coloring books to keep the stress at bay as much as possible, magazines to browse through, puzzles, a deck of cards, your favorite books, or even Sudoku booklets. Keeping their mind occupied will help them get through the long hours.

Personalize the Hospital Room

If the hospital stay will be a long one, make sure their room is as comfortable as possible. Personalize the décor to make sure they feel at home (as much as possible in a hospital room); line the walls with art from their kids or of happy prints you know they’ll love, and bring some fresh flowers to make sure they’re surround by natural brightness. Finding appropriate gifts to get them through the roughest of days will definitely be appreciated. Get a pillow printed with photos of their kids to keep them smiling even in the hardest of times, and bring cozy blankets that will smell like home.

Words Work Wonders

Never underestimate the power of words. Let your friend know you’re thinking of them with little notes of encouragement. Send cards in the mail, write on their Facebook wall, and keep them in your thoughts and prayers. If you’re having a hard time coming up with the right thing to say, consider giving your friend an inspirational book that served as a guiding light for you in a difficult time.

Monetary Expenses

Hospital stays are extremely expensive. If your friend is in need of monetary support, create a GoFundMe page where other friends and family members can donate towards these hefty costs. Beyond the actual care and treatment, their family will likely be paying for food at restaurants, parking passes at the hospital, and gas costs to come visit their loved one. By creating a space in which people can donate, you’ll ease a great deal of financial strain and keep your friend in everyone’s thoughts.

Having a friend in the hospital can be very worrying, but you can ease the stress plaguing them and their family by trying out these caring acts and letting them know you’re there for them no matter what they need.



  1. Mary Ambrosino says

    This is wonderful advice for patients. They will especially appreciate cards and letters.