-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
SUNDAY, Dec. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Being hospitalized during
the holidays can be emotionally difficult, but there are ways to
help patients keep their spirits up, experts say.
"While the psychological impact may be short-lived, the bottom line is people would rather be well and home than sick and away," Joshua Klapow, a clinical psychologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), explained in a university news release.
"The holidays are about social interactions, the sharing of emotions and connecting as humans, and there is nothing written that says this cannot occur in a hospital setting. Bring the holidays to the hospital," Klapow said.
Many hospitals take steps to boost the spirits of their patients
over the holidays, such as providing music therapy and collecting
toys for children. There are also a number of things that friends
and family members can do to help their loved ones deal with their
situation, added Jordan DeMoss, assistant vice president of the UAB
The best thing people can do is to spend time with someone while
they are in the hospital, DeMoss suggested. Visitors should let
patients know they are happy to be there, he added.
"Convey to them that you are celebrating that they are here with you. Focus on the meaning of the holiday, and not so much the environment," De Moss said.
If being there in person is not possible, take advantage of
hospital Wi-Fi and try to connect with someone in the hospital
online or through Skype, he suggested.
DeMoss recommended several other ways to celebrate the holidays
with those who are hospitalized, including:
Even strangers can lift the spirits of people who are
hospitalized over the holidays, added Terri Middlebrooks, nurse
manager in the Acute Care for Elders unit at UAB Highlands
"Last year I told my daughter about a patient on our floor who had no family or friends to visit him. She brought a Christmas tree to his room," Middlebrooks said in the news release. "Soon enough, the whole staff was participating and bringing him presents and other goodies."
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has more on how
to beat the
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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