When Your Loved One is in the Hospital at the Holidays

There are so many lists and tips for different ways to celebrate the holidays, but unfortunately, there’s not one that gives you steps on how to do it while a loved one is recovering from a brain or spinal cord injury, stroke, or amputation. Here’s a few tips that I hope will help you make it special:

1. Bring the party to the hospital (when possible.) Our Concierge team works really hard to make the holidays special for everyone at Magee. Whether it’s a large family gathering in a conference room, or an intimate dinner for two in the patient’s room, seek out the help of Magee’s staff to make it happen.

2. Remember, you might need to do some things a little differently. Just because turkey is the customary meal of the day doesn’t mean that every patient in the hospital can eat it. Please be sure to know your loved one’s diet restrictions (if they have any) and adjust accordingly. Need help? Ask a member of the medical team to steer you in the right direction so that you can be prepared.

3. Be aware of their therapy schedule. Yes, some patients will have therapy on Thanksgiving or other holidays, so please be sure you check in advance to know what time will work for a celebration.

4. Can’t make it to the hospital to celebrate? Send a card, text, call, or video chat. All of these things can brighten someone’s day, so take a minute to let your loved one know you are thinking of them.

5. Don’t forget to thank the staff. When possible, perhaps offer some food or a token of appreciation. I was always thankful for the people who couldn’t be home with their families because they were working to take care of my medical needs. Let them know you are thankful for them this holiday and you appreciate all they are doing to help.

An injury shouldn’t change what the holidays are about, and that’s spending time with loved ones. You might need to do it a little differently than before, but nothing should stop you from trying to enjoy a great day together!

To learn more about Concierge Services at Magee, click here

Photo: Former patient Daniel Gaines with family and friends at Magee last Thanksgiving

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