Being sick is never fun, even if it means you get to skip school or work. But being sick in a hospital is worse than being sick at home in some ways. Patients have to suffer many things – bland food, waking up in a scary place, no privacy and above all – boredom. Mostly visitors bring cards or flowers, but there are many things you can do to make your friend / relative feel like a rockstar even at their worst. If you have a friend/relative who’s hospitalized, but not seriously in pain, here are some interesting (and whacky) ideas to help them through tough times.

Dart game (only if the arms are not injured): Buy a dart board which can be stuck to a wall without a nail. Take a round printout of the face of someone the patient hates – boss, teacher, ex-boyfriend/girlfriend or roommate – and stick it on the dartboard. Even if the patient can’t actually throw darts at it, it will make him/her laugh.

Boredom is probably one of the worst enemies of hospitalised patients. In such scenarios, the smart phone or laptop can quickly become a best friend. Download / buy lots of interesting movies the patient has wanted to see but never had the time and his/ favourite songs. They will get him/her through the long nights. You can also buy games for the person.

Since the patients diet is usually restricted, or hospital food is terrible, sneak in some chatpata snacks to your friend – so long as it’s not harmful for him/her. And if it is-well he/she is in a hospital already!

If you know the patient’s family and friends, buy a small booklet and get each person to write down:

  1. Why they enjoy about the patient being away in hospital (e.g. if one sister is hospitalised, the other may like that she gets the whole bed instead of sharing the bed)
  2. What she misses about the patient

It will make fun reading

If you have that kind of relationship, and are old enough, get the patient a naughty magazine – this is guaranteed to make the patient laugh and… err…maybe keep them entertained?

If the person is in hospital for an injured hand buy a sleeveless shirt with loose, long holes for arms. If the leg is injured buy women patients a loose skirt and men patients shorts with wide leg room.

Board games are fun – preferably gift one that can be played by one person (when the patient is alone) and many people (when he/she ha company)

Hospitals tend to be either too hot or too cold. So buy something that will help make the patient comfortable – cream, balm or lotion for the skin and lips if the hospital is cold, and wet wipes if it is hot.

Lastly, hospitals tend to smell like Dettol! Buy some perfume for the patient and help make the hospital stay more bearable.

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