following tips from the Family Advisory Board are suggestions for
those who want to support a family whose child is
- Offer to run errands: get groceries to
keep the perishables in date; run siblings to daycare, school or
extra curricular activities; take care of pets; or pick up dry
- Provide child care for sibling at
home, or other types of sibling support such as "care
packages" or special outings.
- Prepare meals for freezer or for quick
fixes for the family at home.
- Help with household chores such as
watering plants, mowing the lawn, cleaning houses, walking dogs,
collecting mail and doing laundry.
- Keep info-phone-chain, if requested. Help
keep the patient's extended family and friends up to date on the
patient's condition so the hospitalized family
isn't overwhelmed by concerned callers.
- Offer a shoulder and ear, but not advice
- Help with seasonal activities such as
holiday shopping, birthday shopping, present wrapping and card
- Give parents/caretakers a
"time-out." Offer to sit with patient so parents can
step out and have lunch, time alone or time to clear their
Helpful gift suggestions:
Soft pillow or blanket, slippers, book, magazine, healthy snack,
gum, mints, toothbrush, activity books for caretaker, patient or
sibling; journal and organizer for hospital papers.