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Posted 12 months ago
6 Tips to Lift Your Patients’ Holiday Spirits
■Encourage another Christmas celebration. If possible, it might be worthwhile to simply encourage families to postpone the Christmas festivities until the patient is discharged and can participate.
■Acknowledge the situation. Being empathetic is invaluable. Acknowledge that you know that being in the hospital over the holidays is hard. A smile or a hug from us, as the caregiver, can go a very long way in lifting the patient’s spirits. It might also be helpful to say, “I know that being in the hospital over the holidays is hard for you. Is there anything that I can do to help you?”
■Provide an appropriate gift. Sometimes auxillary groups allocate a portion of their budget for buying gifts for the patients. Warm slippers or stationary or appropriate food items can make the patient feel closer to the holiday scene.
■Encourage writing and/or reading materials. Writing can be a great way to channel feelings of frustration or depression, and, if the patient chooses, he/she can prepare his/her own personalized holiday cards. Reading a novel or watching television (provided it is not related to the holiday season) can also be an appreciated distraction.
■Normalize the patient’s clothing. To continue with the trend of “normalization”, it might also be helpful for patients to have a bathrobe over their hospital gown, and it might be equally comfortable for him/her to wear slippers from home. These small techniques will hopefully help the patient to escape from the disappointment of being hospitalized over the holidays.
What makes the holidays so very special is being with friends and family, however, if one is away from them, and if their health is compromised, the holiday season can be very depressing. Hopefully, these tips will enable us caregivers to bring a small sense of joy to our patients while they struggle with their health during the holiday season.