Tips for Patients Spending Christmas in the Hospital

Unfortunately, COPD does not take the holiday season off, and many patients are forced to spend Christmas in the hospital. If you or a loved one are faced with an unexpected hospitalization, remember you don't have to feel shut off from the celebration. Adding some yuletide touches to your hospital room and surrounding yourself with friends and family may be just the seasonal ticket needed to get you through this tough time. A detailed list of helpful tips follows.

Christmas in man's hospital room
jeangill  / E+ / Getty Images

Heal Your Soul With Christmas Carols

Music is extremely therapeutic for people who are sick. With that in mind, why not sing Christmas carols with family and friends, or ask a loved one to bring your favorite music in so you and your visitors can listen to holiday music.

Decorate Your Tree

Christmas just isn't the same without a tree. Ask hospital staff what type of Christmas tree you are allowed to have in your room. Some hospitals won't allow live ones but there are plenty of artificial trees that are just as beautiful. If getting a full-size tree is an issue, you can get one small enough to fit on a nightstand.

Don't Forget the Turkey

Most of us know the perils of hospital food, but on Christmas, many hospitals serve a traditional turkey dinner that is really not half-bad. If you can't stomach one more hospital meal, ask your healthcare provider if your family can bring in a home-cooked meal on Christmas day. Remember to inform your family if you have any special dietary restrictions that they should adhere to when making the dish.

Christmas Cards Are Key

Don't you just love when your mailbox is filled to the brim with Christmas cards? This year, put those Christmas cards to good use by adorning the walls of your hospital room with them. For an added treat, ask your children or grandchildren to make home-made cards for you themselves.

Holiday Picture Frames

Nothing speaks to the glory of Christmas better than friends and family. If you can't have them with you this year, fill tiny holiday picture frames with their images and have them with you in spirit.

Seasonal Tissue Dispenser

A practical, yet decorative solution to a stuffy nose, cough, or teary eye, seasonal tissue dispensers are a must have for the COPD patient dealing with symptoms during the holidays.

Christmas Snow Globe

A Christmas snow globe will bring a festive feel to your hospital room and keep you entertained for hours.

By Deborah Leader, RN
 Deborah Leader RN, PHN, is a registered nurse and medical writer who focuses on COPD.