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Usually, when giving a gift, you have time to prepare. You know the birthday or anniversary is coming up, and its fine to send something a week or two after that big house purchase or job promotion. But sometimes, there just isn’t time.

Don’t worry! I'll be the Zack to your Jessie - I've got your back (in the gift giving realm, not the caffeine pill addiction realm). Read below for tips on what you can do if someone you love needs some last minute care.


Unexpected Hospital Visit

This is probably one of the most stressful situations that your loved ones can encounter. Whether a “quick” trip to the emergency room is stretched out for hours, or if there is a sudden need to be admitted (for example, an emergency appendectomy), oftentimes the patient and their support person are not prepared for a long stay. If you live near enough the hospital to stop by, or are willing to make the drive, I assure you that they will love you forever if you bring:

  1. Warm, cozy socks - preferably a pair for each person. Hospitals are cold!
  2. If you are willing to lend it, a hoodie or two (again, it's cold in those places!)
  3. Phone chargers - make sure you know what kind of phones they have.
  4. Water bottles - just a couple to tide them over.
  5. Chapstick (new...thats obvious I hope??) - It's also dry in hospitals.
  6. Snacks - nuts, fruits that keep well and are easy to throw in a bag (such as apples or bananas), granola bars, individually wrapped chocolate and other candy

Let them know you are stopping by to see if there is anything else they might want (fresh coffee, something for dinner, something from their house, etc).


Birth of Baby

A busy and stressful time for everyone, from brand new to even the most experienced of parents!

  1. Meals. You could really go for it and set up a meal train (a group of people sign up to bring meals via a calendaring system) using a site such as mealtrain.com, or you could just bring a meal on your own. Try to provide something that can be easily frozen so they can save it if they choose. Make sure to include cooking directions, if it is not already cooked.
  2. Diapers or baby wipes. Parents can never have enough of these!
  3. If you are visiting, volunteer to go to the grocery store on the way if they need anything. 
  4. If they have more than one kid, take some time to play with the older one and give mom/dad time to focus on just the new little one (or vise versa!). 

Loss

When someone you care for has lost a loved one, there are a few things you can do to help ease their pain.

  1. A meal. This will help them take care of one of the more mundane day-to-day tasks that have to be done (especially if they have children or are care takers of parents, etc). 
  2. If they have any previous engagements, volunteer to take their spot.
  3. Depending on how close you are, help them contact other loved ones/friends. 
  4. Continue to let them know that you are thinking about them. Grief, of course, doesn't end with the funeral. 

Now you are ready so the next time a loved one is going through something tough, you will be there, helping them through like a boss.

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