Wednesday, November 27, 2019

What to take when you're visiting a friend in the hospital

A while back a friend of mine was telling me about visiting a hospitalized friend and what she'd learned from going every day for weeks. Here are some of the tips she shared with me and a few I've added:
  • Ask before visiting. While you're there stay tuned in to your friend, leave if asked or if you see that your visit is tiring your friend.
  • Bring bottled water. It can take time for the staff to bring a pitcher, it's so much easier to have water bottles right there by the bed. 
  • Tissues and Toilet Paper, especially the extra soft brands, are appreciated
  • Bring home cooked food. Either plan to take the dishes away with you or leave the food there with disposable utensils and disposable containers. 
  • Bring Single serve snacks and sweets
  • Teabags, instant coffee packets, and drink mixes - if allowed by the physician - are nice to tuck into care packages.  
  • Baby Wipes help for those really hot and sticky days and for anyone who's completely bedridden. 
  • Toiletries like soap, hand lotion, lip balm, and dry shampoo are soothing (recipe and instructions below)
  • A change of clothes
  • Sponge or bath pouf, hand towel & bath towel. If you bring these items, try to return the next day to replace them with a fresh set as it’s no fun to have wet towels taking up your personal storage space next to your hospital bed.  
  • Soft throw and pillows
  • Comfy and fun slippers
  • Sleep mask & earplugs
  • Nail clippers
  • Distractions like books, magazines, puzzles, a phone topup, adult coloring books + colored pencils
  • Flowers or potted plants. Hospitals can be dreary, it's nice to have something to brighten the space
  • Financial gifts – money is always the right color and size. In addition to lost income and the medical bills, when a family member is in the hospital there are extra costs that add up like taxi fares and childcare
Can’t make it to the hospital? Can you support their family with errands, meals, or childcare?

  • Only visit if you’re well. You don't want someone who's already ill at risk of getting something else
  • Go alone or with only one other person. Numbers can be overwhelming. Rather than everyone visit at once, try spacing the visits over the course of your friend’s stay
  • Keep it quiet. Your friend might welcome numbers and noise, but what about the patient in the next bed?
  • Avoid sitting on the patient's bed. So many things are out of the patient’s control, let them have some personal space. 
Of course, as with everything, take your cues from the patient. If they’re craving a caring touch and companionship, by all means sit on the edge of the bed and give them that hug.

Dry Shampoo Recipe for Dark Hair
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot powder <- Super absorbent, you can replace this with corn flour aka corn starch if you can’t find arrowroot powder
  • 2-3 tbsp cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
  1. In a small bowl thoroughly combine the arrowroot powder and cocoa powder. For best results, store in an airtight container. 
  2. When you're ready to shampoo, section hair and apply the dry shampoo to your roots with a makeup brush. 
  3. Let powder sit for 2-3 minutes to absorb oil, then brush hair from roots to tips. This helps to distribute the dry shampoo throughout your hair as well as remove any excess. 
  4. If you’ve missed any spots, repeat the process.
You could also use a clean shaker to apply the dry shampoo to your roots.