When a friend's child is staying in the hospital, your instinct is to help in any way you can—but you may not know where to start. Here, a mom whose daughter was in the hospital for six months due to complications from congenital heart disease, breaks down nine simple things you can do for someone in her situation.
Many well-wishers come with treats, but your friend more likely wants a salad for lunch or an easy-to-microwave dinner. Ignore this tip if your friend mentions craving junk food. If you’d like to bring food for your friend’s child, ask if that’s permitted.
Restaurant gift cards help with the food bill, iTunes or Amazon let your friend load up on entertainment, and a good old Visa gift card can go toward bills and incidentals.
Odds are, she could use a spare. Other practical gifts: deodorant, extension cords, cleansing wipes, and breath mints. Disposable plates and cups are handy too.
Visitors pile up on weekends, which can be stressful to manage. If you can spare two hours, come midweek instead. Call first, though.
If it’s obscure, take the time to read up on it a bit on your own.
Ask who’s coordinating such things and call directly to offer.
Hire a service if you don’t live locally.
Or if anyone in your home is sick. Or if you haven’t gotten a flu shot.
Remember: Time is standing still for your friend, and recovery can be maddeningly slow.