Home Away From Home: Making a Hospital Stay More Comfortable

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Recently my mom spent a few, unexpected weeks in the hospital, and while her room there was a far cry from the comforts and familiarity of her own home, I did discover a few things that helped make her stay a bit better:



  1. Fresh flowers. 
  2. Silverware: Hospital food, not so good. Hospital food eaten with plastic utensils, pretty gross. I brought in an extra metal set I had at home, which made meals nicer.
  3. Special treats: Homemade soup, Entenmann's Rich Frosted Donuts, pineapple, iced coffee — all things Mom enjoyed. Find out if the patient is on a restricted diet, and go from there.
  4. Reading material (and eye glasses): Definitely helped pass the time. When friends wanted to know how they could help, I asked them for old magazines and books, since she was going through them quickly.
  5. Music: The best gift Mom got while she was in the hospital was a MP3 player loaded with some of her favorite songs. Music really does help heal. 
  6. Toiletries (and routine): Each night when I visited, I turned on the Beatles and we ate whatever special treat I brought. Afterwards I helped Mom brush her teeth and wash her face, using her favorite toothpaste, soap and lotions. I found that routine helped ease the stress and worry of the situation for both Mom and me. 

Do you have any tips of your own for making an extended hospital stay more comfortable? 

Related: If you find yourself in the position of hospital visitor, Sarah wrote a great post on what to pack.

(Image: Kate Legere)