What To Put In Care Packages for the Hospital-Bound
Hospitals are a curious thing. They are marvelous inventions, to be sure, and so are all the miracles of modern medicine that fill them from floor to rafters. Still, they always seem to be wrapped in something of a cloud, a grim reminder that for all its good points, the hospital is a place for the ill and the suffering. Perhaps that's why it is an almost universal response by the well to endeavor to help anyone they might know who happens to occupy a bed in such a place. While the ideal solution would be to magically cure one's friends and loved ones who find themselves stuck in the hospital for whatever reason, that just isn't feasible. Nevertheless, there are certain things the healthy can do to show that they care for and about those who are sick or injured. Read some great hospital care package ideas in this article.
The construction and delivery of a care package is probably the easiest and best token of affection and esteem anyone can give to a friend or family member during their incapacitation, and as luck would have it, this guide is just what the doctor ordered if you're starting from square one. Just keep reading, and before long, you'll be sending your very own hospital-oriented care packages to the folks who need them the most!
Delivering All The Comforts Of Home... Stat!
THe doctors, nurses, and staff of any reputable hospital are veritable miracle workers. They truly do try their best to see that their charges are calm and comfortable. Even so, the hospital is an environment that favors standardization and the mass-production of care, and that means that a few of the more personal touches one might wish for will inevitably fall by the wayside. This is where the hospital care package comes into play! Simple little things like a patient's favorite toiletries or personal care items can leave them both more comfortable and with a raised sense of morale. Similarly, a fuzzy, cozy robe, blanket, or hand / foot warmers can help reduce the seemingly ubiquitous hospital chill many patients report upon their discharge.
If the patient in question is a child, consider sending along a cherished stuffed toy, security blanket, or other such talisman. It will help make a new environment and an unpleasant situation that much more bearable.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- A robe, the cozier and more cheerful you can find, the better
- Gloves and/or socks with non-skid surfaces
- Make-up, lip balm, deodorant, and related cosmetic items
- A shaving kit
- A favorite blanket or stuffed animal (especially for younger children)
- The best, most comfortable pillow you can get ahold of on short notice
- Flowers and a vase or other container to put them in
Food That Doesn't Come In An IV Tube
Hospital food is adequate, but it can get monotonous quickly. To counteract the doldrums, consider sending some homemade goodies in your next hospital-bound care package. It will cheer everyone up, and if the reason behind the hospitalization of your friend or family member is serious enough that it requires the presence of steady visitors, it will free them from having to spend too much time and money at the hospital vending machines. This, in turn, will allow them to do what they came for to begin with - spend time with those most important to them.
One note on food-based gifts: Some patients may not feel like eating certain things, or conversely, they may have odd cravings for foods they never would've touched before their hospitalization. Consider these changes, and plan accordingly. Additionally, many illnesses and / or medications can react with food and drink in unexpected ways, as can a patient's innate / pre-existing food allergies. Before sending any edibles, always consult with physicians, nurses, and related medical staff to ensure their suitability!
Suggestions for snacks follow:
- Trail mix
- Dried or candied fruit
- Homemade cookies, brownies, or other such treats
- Chewing / bubble gum
- Chips, crackers, and other savory or salty snacks
- Soda (in limited quantities)
- Restaurant gift cards (to be used for a post-discharge celebration dinner)
A Prescription For Fun
As indispensable as they are to the inhabitants of a civilized, modern society, there's no denying that hospital visits can quickly grow boring to both patients and visitors alike. This is especially true if the patients and / or visitors are young, if the stay is especially long, or because of some combination of factors like these. This is precisely why a bit of entertainment is a welcome addition to any hospital care package.
Here are a few suggestions that should work for both visitors and patients if you're drawing a blank:
- Puzzles (Sudoku, crosswords, and so forth)
- Tablets (iPad, Nexus, Kindle, and more; make sure to get a pass to the hospital wi-fi if you can!)
- DVDs or Blu-Rays if the hospital has a movie room
- MP3 players
- Coloring books and supplies for smaller children (and for the bigger ones too, if they like to color!)
- Playing cards (both traditional decks and game packs for games like Phase Ten, Uno, Apples to Apples, and other group games)
The Little Things
The heart and soul of any care package worth the name is, well, the care! These things are only as good as the love and good vibes the maker(s) put into them, and that goes double for the ones en route to a hospital. As such, you should always make sure that any care packages you choose to send to a patient or his / her family or other visitors are filled to capacity with reminders of home and a life beyond the confines of their hospital bed. It needn't be extravagant, either - handmade cards, little notes of encouragement, pictures of home and the people important to the hospitalized, and other such mementos are all that's required to boos the spirits of the recipient, and as anyone who works in healthcare can tell you, a happy patient is a patient that's three-quarters mended.
Here are some suggestions for those who might need them:
- A card from the sender to the recipient(s), preferably homemade
- Notes of encouragement and best wishes from family, friends, co-workers, and the like, homemade if possible
- Pictures of familiar places, friends, family, pets, and the like
- Video or audio messages of loved ones or other interested parties
- Letters full of news about what's going on in the outside world, plans for when the patient is reunited with his or her family and friends, and so forth
A Note On Hospital Care Packages And Their Intended Recipients
While this article has been written with a primary focus on the patient(s), it should not go unsaid that his or her visitors, whether they be family, friends, or co-workers, are also fine candidates for a care package. After all, well-wishes and affection has no limit, and it may be that a package such as the one discussed in this article makes the visitor's day every bit as much as it does the patient's!
And there you have it, a comprehensive set of hospital care package ideas to the planning, assembly, and delivery of a first-rate hospital care package! With this primer in hand, showing those who need it most that there are plenty of folks "on the outside" who care about them and wish them a speedy recovery should be a simple and even fun task. All that's left now is to get started!