As the loved one of someone who is going in for orthopedic surgery, you want to support them in any way you can. Maybe they need to stay at the hospital for a day or two (or even longer, in some cases). Nobody loves staying in the hospital, but luckily there are things you can do to cheer the patient up while they're laid up. Out of ideas? Take a few of ours.
Help Them Sleep
Recovering from surgery is not easy. It's even harder when the patient isn't in their own bed and has to be hooked up to machines all night. Nurses come in periodically to check on them, which means your patient probably isn't getting proper sleep. Good sleep aids and speeds up recovery, so bring a gift to help them out. Make a basket full of sleep-aids, like a sleeping mask, earplugs, and a lavender sachet for relaxation. And it doesn't hurt to bring their pillow from home, either.
Be Their Advocate
Your family member's hospital stay will be dotted with doctor visits and updates from nurses. As next of kin, it's your job to communicate with the medical professionals so you understand what's going on. Your family member may be too young to understand, or too tired to remember important details. Take the time to create a positive relationship with the staff that cares for your loved one, and become their advocate. Ask questions about their condition, the surgery, and best practices for home recovery. They may not say it, but your loved one will appreciate the support and feel less stressed because you're there.
Make the Room Homey
Hospital rooms are understandably sterile. If your spouse or child is in the hospital for an extended stay, bring pieces of home to cheer them up. This can include books, movies, a laptop, games, or puzzles for entertainment. If they need comfort, bring a favorite sweatshirt, blanket or bear.
Keep the Home Fires Burning
If your spouse has surgery, you can help them recover simply by staying on top of daily life. They may be a busy person with many responsibilities, but they can't juggle it all while they're in recovery. Offer to reschedule appointments (if the surgery was unexpected) and manage babysitting and kids' schedules. Pick up the slack in their daily chores; for example, if they normally pay bills or take out the trash, handle it and reassure your spouse that they don't have to worry about a thing. This will keep them from stressing out over things they can't control at the moment. This may mean you can't be by their side for 8 hours a day, so make sure to strike a good balance.
It's hard to have a family member in the hospital. Your strength and positivity will be a beacon of light for your recovering loved one.