Chronic illness, especially illness that has periods of fairly good health punctuated with flare ups or relapses often entails occasional or frequent trips to hospital. Here are my top ten tips – straight from the hospital bed – for what to take to someone in hospital to help make their stay a little easier:
- Food parcels – small portions / packets of favourite treats
- Good books – favourite authors, easy reading or page-turners
- Magazines – a selection of magazines, esepcially those which have a combination of short and long stories / articles
- Personal hygeine and grooming products – travel sized indulgent products help to make a complicated / painful bathing procedure more endurable
- A loaded MP3 player – music, radio shows, podcasts or videos
- Mobile phone and charger – for some, being able to contact friends and family is a great source of comfort. NB, some hospitals do not allow use of phones on wards
- Home comforts – a decent mug, pillow or throw. NB these things might get lost or broken
- Flowers or essential oils – to brighten up and scent the bed area
- Lemons and Limes – to make the ubiquitous jug of tap water more palatable. NB this isn’t about being snobbish towards tap water. Many medications change your taste sensations and a slice of lemon or lime can take away an unpleasant taste.
- Sachets of salt, pepper, tomato sauce etc – to add flavour and interest to food available at the hospital
This list works equally as well as an aide memoire for the patient to help answer the question ‘what can we bring you?’.
What are your top tips for what to take to someone in hospital?