1. Offer to bring them the pillow they sleep on at home, or buy them a similar one if that isn’t possible.
Even if you’re at home in your own bed — not in the hospital — it’s hard falling asleep on a pillow you’re not used to.
2. Take them their favorite condiments so they can add flavor to their hospital food.
Just be sure to run this one by hospital staff first!
Or give them a gift card to a local food delivery service.
They can use it next time they’re alone with a serious food craving.
3. Buy them a nourishing hand cream they can keep by their bed.
With air conditioning and constant hand washing, skin can dry out fast. Plus, a new lotion is a tiny luxury that can be kept within reach.
4. And a new pair of cozy non-slip socks.
Because nothing beats that fresh-socks feeling.
5. If they’re sharing a room, an eye mask and set of earplugs will always be appreciated.
From screaming babies to bleeping machines, hospitals aren’t exactly quiet places.
6. Bring them a portable charger so they can keep their phone working at all times.
Cords can be a safely hazard in hospitals, so long chargers aren’t always welcome.
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7. If your loved one is missing their pet, take them a stuffed animal to sleep with.
If they’re used to sleeping next to something soft, it might make their hospital bed feel a little cozier.
8. Ask how often they’re comfortable with you visiting.
Everyone’s hospital experience is different and while some people love constant company, others need time to recover and recharge on their own.
9. And when you do make plans to visit, be sure to show up on time.
Time slows down in a hospital, even more so when you’re counting down to a visitor is arriving. If you’re going to be late, be sure to let your loved one know so they’re not staring at the door, waiting for you to show up.
10. Help them download podcasts or audiobooks to their phone or tablet, if they don’t know how.
Reading physical books requires energy and light, so audiobooks and podcasts make excellent hospital companions.
11. Take a bag of wrapped candy or chocolates for the hospital staff to help themselves to.
This is especially thoughtful when your loved one has a long stay ahead of them. Building good relationships with hospital staff is important, and even if they don’t want any sweets, they will still appreciate your kindness.
12. And offer to bring fresh fruit when you next visit.
Between hospital meals and vending machine chocolate bars, a fresh and healthy snack can be really appreciated.
Article have been lightly edited for length/clarity.