Five Ways to Help When a Child is Hospitalized, Part 1

What can you do to help parents when their child is hospitalized? Here are 5 ideas.

How should you respond to offers of help when your child is hospitalized? Should you decline because you don’t want to be an inconvenience? Should you brush them off so you don’t appear vulnerable and needy? Or should you hold people at arm’s length because it hurts to let anyone into your life right now?

Whatever possible reasons you have for refusing assistance, now’s the time to set your objections aside and accept help, especially if your child’s hospital stay will be long. But if someone offer to help and you draw a blank, use this list to get some ideas.

Mail and Papers

Have someone drop off your mail and newspapers at the hospital. Even if the post office is forwarding your mail, have someone check your mailbox in case important correspondence accidentally slips through.

Watch the House

Give trusted neighbors a key so they can walk through and look for leaky pipes and faucets, reset the thermostat, water plants, and check the lights every day or two.

Child Care

Ask family members or close friends to either move into your home to care for your healthy children or take your kids to their home and care for them there.

Car Pool

Perhaps another parent in your child’s social circle could take over your car pool duties.

Phone Tree

Cut down the number of phone calls coming into the hospital bu assigning a communications coordinator to create and activate a phone tree. This is especially if you and your child need to get some rest. Call the coordinator at a set time each day and give her health updates and prayer requests to pass on to others.

The longer your child is hospitalized, the more you need to accept offers of assistance from the people around you. In the next post, we’ll look at five more ways people can help if your child has an extended hospital stay.

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What can you do to help parents when their child is hospitalized? Here are 5 ideas.



  1. Diana Byriel Diana Byriel
    September 1, 2009    

    The most wonderful things anyone did for me when my youngest son was hospitalized was to look after my older sons. At the time, I underestimated the importance of keeping a “normal routine” for my 8 year old and 5 year old. It was hard for them to have a brand new brother for only a few days, only to have their lives turned upside down when both mom and the baby disappeared to the NICU one day. We had many wonderful friends and family members who helped during our time of need, but many people unknowingly subjected my young boys to endless strings of questions about how the baby was doing.

    My son’s second grade teacher was amazingly insightful. She made his school day a wonderful oasis away from talk of illness, hospitals, and surgery. She cared deeply about our family’s crisis, but was careful to focus on Joey and his needs. For that, I will always be grateful.

  2. September 2, 2009    

    What a wonderful teacher! Your comment also gave me an idea for a new blog post – one about how teachers can help students with special needs siblings. Could you send an email with the name of that teacher? I’d love to interview her.

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Meet Jolene

Jolene Philo is a published author, speaker, wife, and mother of a son with special needs.



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