3 Tips For Helping Someone Whose Family Member Is In The Hospital

Posted on: 24 June 2015

A family's life can be turned upside down when one of its members is admitted to the hospital. For the other members, what was previously a normal life quickly becomes exhausting, filled with hospital visits at all hours of the day and providing health updates to family members and friends. When you see a family to whom you're acquainted dealing with this situation, it's polite to offer your assistance but even better to suggest a handful of specific ways in which you can help. Not sure how you can lend a hand? Here are three useful ideas.


Volunteering to chauffeur various family members to and from the hospital helps the reduce the family's stress and gives the members a few minutes of each day where they can just sit and relax if they choose. Because hospitals have standard visiting hours, you can get into a pattern of picking the family up at a certain time, driving to the hospital and then returning at a designated time later in the day. Lending a land in this manner can also have financial benefits, as the family won't have to pay for parking day after day. Your assistance as a driver can extend beyond hospital visits. See if you can take the family's children to daycare, school or after-school activities such as sports or run errands to the grocery store.

Contact Person

Depending on the nature of your relationship with the family, you can volunteer to serve as the family's contact person and distribute news about the hospital patient to those the family wants kept in the loop. After a long day spent at the hospital, it can be overwhelming for the family to arrive home and begin calling and emailing people to provide updates. If the family feels comfortable giving you this responsibility, ask for a list of contacts and a brief synopsis of how much information to divulge to each person -- families often want to give personal details to only those with whom they're closest. When you call or email each person, identify yourself and explain that you're calling on behalf of the family. If it's appropriate, you could even include the posted visiting hours for the hospital, one like Peninsula Community Health Services- Medical (Cottonwood), that the patient is staying in. 

Household Chores

Arriving home to a tidy house and a freshly prepared meal would sound pretty appealing to any family with a member in the hospital. If you're the type of person who enjoys cooking and is skilled at keeping a clean home, ask if you can contribute in this manner. Pop over in the afternoon to vacuum, do a load of laundry or mow the lawn while you have dinner cooking in the oven. The meals don't even need to be extravagant -- the assistance you provide will be hard for the family to put into words.