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How to Support a Loved One in the Hospital for the Holidays

At Cameron Memorial Community Hospital, we do our best to keep patients comfortable and content during their stay. But we also recognize that patients need the support that only friends and family can provide — particularly during the holidays.

Unfortunately, we’ve had to make the difficult decision to limit visitation because of the risks posed by COVID-19. The current visitor policy is one visitor, with the exception of our medical surgical unit, where no visitors are currently allowed.

We understand this means you might not be able to be by your loved one’s bedside during their hospital stay. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to support a loved one who’s in the hospital over the holidays. Read on for our recommendations.

1. Send a care package.

Pull together a few items you know your loved one will enjoy. Your care package can include books, magazines, cozy sweaters and maybe even a few Christmas cookies, if the patient is allowed sweets. Include anything that will bring a smile to your loved one’s face. Note that the hospital might need to quarantine flowers and packages to ensure they’re not carrying any germs, so don’t include anything that might go stale quickly.

2. Show them you care.

Whether your loved one is in the hospital for a short time or an extended stay, reaching out goes a long way. If the patient has a smartphone or tablet, make time to talk over the phone or through video chat. And if the patient has a pet at home, try to send photos regularly; pets can help relieve stress and improve mood.

3. Share your holiday traditions.

As much as possible, try to include your loved one in your holiday traditions. It can be simple, like using FaceTime or Zoom to make them feel like they’re a part of the festivities on Christmas or New Year’s Eve. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, it can make a difference.

4. Make yourself available.

More than anything, make time for your loved one. It’s tough to stay in the hospital under the best circumstances, but it’s much more challenging when you can’t see your friends and family. Try to find time to connect with your loved one every day and, if they reach out, respond as quickly as you can.

5. Reach out to us.

We know that a hospital stay can be daunting for all involved. And, this is particularly the case in end of life situations. Please know that we are here to help and make accommodations in those situations. Please reach out to our team.

If you have any questions about how you can support a loved one who’s currently in our care, please contact us online or call 260-665-2141.

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