Ideas on how to be at the bedside.
First and most important
Trust your heart and your feelings for what is needed
Say what you need to say
Know there is a good chance you are heard
Let the person know he or she is loved, you will be there and they are safe
Say what you think would help when there is fear or the other too ill to respond
Comfort with words and gentle touch
Suggestions of What to Say
Who you are
How you happened to come to visit
What you would like to do, such as draw a chair near, put the railing down with the nurse's permission, or "I will sit by the window, puff up my pillow and sleep here with you throughout the night." “I am leaving for a moment. Will be right back.”
When you will leave. "I do not know for how long I will be here." "For an hour." "I will not leave without telling you."
Your feelings ,"I am a little afraid but it means so much to be there with you.” “I am very happy to be here". “Forgive me if I am a little clumsy".
Assume you are heard.
Speak with great sensitivity and respect.
With touch, words or just your presence, let them know they are loved and safe.
Push yourself to be brave, but do not do anything that is not in keeping with who you are.
Please share with me your experiences, your questions and your thoughts that would help you or inspire others.