What to Bring a Friend with Bed Rest

A PSP member writes: “looking for ideas on what to bring to someone on bedrest (in this case at a hospital, but it could be any bedrest). If you were on bedrest, what were good things that folks brought you?”

image: The Invalid by Louis Lang, in the Brooklyn Museum

Brooklyn Museum - The Invalid - Louis Lang - overall

Here are ideas of things to bring and give a friend on bed rest...


Reading materials. Think of books they would want to read, not books you would want to read:

“Trashy magazines for sure.”
“How about classic books they should have read but haven't or not lately? Anna Karenina, to kill a mockingbird etc. Nice stationery and stamps to write letters you always mean to send? Cookbooks to peruse for later?”


Writing materials like a journal, pens, and stationery with stamps


Puzzles, like sudoku and crosswords:

“I did a lot of crossword puzzles and my hospital room mate did a lot of coloring books, so books of either of those could work depending on which you think she would like, or both.”
“Some of those tiny jigsaw puzzle.”


Simple crafts and kits like embroidery, crocheting, origami, coloring books, or knitting:

“A set to take up knitting?”


Snacks and food including fresh fruit:

“If your friend is in the hospital, offer to bring dinner. Yes, he or she can get Hospital food, but it gets really old really fast and it's nice to have something different.”


Gift certificates:

“An iTunes gift certificate to rent a movie might also be nice.”


Games, like a board game, a handheld game, a deck of cards.


If your friend is at the hosptial, bring things to make your friend comfortable. Think a comfy robe/ kaftan, fuzzy socks, PJs, or toiletries:

“If your friend will be in the hospital a while, bringing things to make the hospital room more like home can make a big difference. Toiletries, slippers, a bathrobe...they really make a difference.”
“I brought my friend nail polish, a travel sized nail polish remover, and some cotton balls so she could do her own mani/pedi. It was a big hit.”
"Chap stick, cleansing wipes, and lotion are more valuable than you would think. These items will help when they need a fresh pick-me-up."


If your friend is at the hosptial, bring things to make the hospital room more cheerful and like home. Think flowers, decorations, art, a real blanket or throw:

“This one is a big cliché, but some friends sent flowers once I was on bed rest at home. They brightened my room so much, and since I was confined in my room I just looked at them all day and was constantly touched by them.”
"If you plan on bringing art be sure to pick up a reusable adhesive like sticky tack so you can safely tape it to the hospital wall."
“A potted plant, succulent, or cactus that will last longer than a bouquet flowers.”


Also, hospitals are very dry, bring a small humidifier, lipbalm, air mist.


Hospitals are also noisy, so bring earplugs for your friend!


Related Reading on PSP:

Things to do for new parents home from the hospital