6 Tips on Caring for Your Loved One When They are Suddenly Hospitalized.




Unexpected hospitalization can suddenly happen to your family member or loved one.

It is usually quite a scary experience because we all fear the worst outcome.

You may find that you do not know what to do because you are filled with panic.

In this article I will give you some tips on how to care for your loved one when they are suddenly hospitalized.


  • Participate in the care

You want to be involved in their care in a positive way.

This includes researching the disease so that you can better understand what is going on.

You will give more support when you have more information.

Plan to ask the doctor to explain some of the issues going on that you may not understand.

Write down the questions that you may have so that you are organized when you meet with the doctor and you do not forget them.

Assist your loved one where you can, but be careful not to smother them because you want to encourage independence so that they can improve faster.


  • Encouragement

Encourage them by letting them know that they are in good hands and will get better.

Avoid making negative statements like, “the last person I knew with that illness died!”

Encourage them to be compliant with treatment and to participate in the daily activities that the nurses and therapists recommend.

  • Inspiration

Do things for them that inspire them.

Inspiration could come from playing soft positive music or reading to them from their favorite author.

Other people may like prayers and scripture reading.

  • Flexible visits

Be flexible with your visits.

Give your loved one time to sleep and rest.

Too many long visits are not of benefit to an ill patient.

They need time to rest and if they are hospitalized it means that they need closer medical attention.

When you are flexible with your visits it gives the nurses and medical personnel room to do what they need to.

When relatives are not in the patient’s room, the caregivers can explain to them in more detail what tests they will be doing. Particularly if the patient is alert and oriented.

Too many relatives in the patient’s room can be intimidating to the medical personnel and they may just want to perform the task at hand and leave the room as fast as possible.

  • Self care

Take care of yourself so that you do not get too exhausted and become ill yourself.

It is also difficult to take care of your loved one when you are tired.

Get enough sleep and eat a balanced diet, making sure you get lots of vitamin C by eating fruits. This helps prevent minor illnesses.

Remain well hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

  • What to avoid

There are two things to avoid when your loved one is hospitalized.

  • Avoid arguments with the medical personnel.

Arguing with the doctor or yelling at the nurses will not make your loved one get better faster.

Put yourself in the shoes of the medical team and treat them with respect.

People tend to give better quality of care to patients whose families are cooperative respectful and understanding.

  • Avoid being loud and obnoxious and disturbing other patients.

Always remember that there are other patients hospitalized as well.


Share with us some of the things that you do.



  1. I am a nurse. Worked in cardiothoracic sugrery for several years1. I totally agree with the notepad and pens for questions. Docs come in for about 5 minutes out of the whole day. You will never remember all your questions.
    2. Many times, pain medications are written on an as needed basis meaning the nurse cannot legally just give you pain meds every 4 hours or whatever. It is up to YOU to ask for you pain medication when the the pain STARTS. You will have to rate your pain on a 1-10 scale. Ask for pain medicine when pain is a 3/10, not an 8/10. It is much harder to get pain under control when it gets higher.
    3. Bring some books or laptop. You will get bored
    4. WALK when they tell you too. It is for your health and so you don’t get pneumonia.
    5. Deep breathe and cough at least 10 times every hour right after sugrery. Same pneumonia issue
    6. Trust the nurses we mean the best for you.
    7. If you get nauseas, try putting an alcohol swab under your nose I don’t know why it works, but it does sometimes
    8. Ask all kinds of questions at discharge so you don’t get home and get confused. We don’t mind
    9. Tell your friends and family that you WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE for the first 3-5 days. Major sugrery needs rest. Unplug the phones in the room and ask people to call a designated family member or friend for updates. I see WAY too many patients become completely exhausted because they will not say no to visitors. If you are ready to see people earlier, you can call them.
    10. Stay calm. Anxiety will only make everything worse. If you find you are very anxious or have trouble sleeping, ask the doctors if they can prescribe you something just for the time you are in the hospital.Good luck!

    • Joyce says:

      Thank You Gundeti for those great tips.