Tips for the patient's family and friends

Taking care of yourself when a loved one is in hospital:

As someone close to the patient you may feel helpless or out of control when they are in the hospital. Watching and waiting are hard but sometimes there is nothing else that you can do. Remember, you are an important part ot the healing process and can help the health care team who is caring for your loved one. 
We have learned that close friends and family have a strong influence on the healing process and there are clear benefits of your involvement in patient recovery. Because of this, your well-being is important to the patient and to us.

Take care of yourself:

  • Proper food and sleep is important. This will help you better understand die information given by the health-care team.
  • Staying awake all night every night can make you prone to illness.
  • Eat regular meals that include healthy foods.
  • Exercise is important. This helps with your emotional health.
  • Take a break. Set-up a schedule of who will be with the patient. 

Your role in helping the patient:

  • Be positive! Encourage everyone to be hopeful while with the patient.
  • Keep a journal for the patient. Encourage visitors to write in the journal. Read the messages to the patient.
  • Bring in reminders such as pictures, stuffed animal, music, favourite pillow or comforter.
  • Buy a notebook. It is hard to remember everything when you are under stress. Write names of the health-care team in your notebook and use this to write down any questions you need to ask.