Homemaking

How to Encourage Someone on Bed Rest or Shut In 

6 simple ways that you can do to encourage someone on bed rest or is shut in.

I honestly believe that one of the hardest things to go through in life is going through a period of time when you are cut off from the rest of society. Whether it’s because of chronic sickness, an injury, or pregnancy related complications, not being allowed to socialize with others can cause a barrage of emotions.

If you’ve never walked this valley it can be hard to understand how lonesome it can be for those currently in it. When I was pregnant with my second baby, I developed placenta previa – a serious condition that could threaten both the babies and mothers life. With placenta previa, the placenta covers the cervix in varying degrees. It can cause unprovoked and uncontrolled bleeding. Without medical intervention the baby and mother can die. So medical professionals take this very seriously. At 30 weeks along I had my first bleeding episode, I was hospitalized overnight. Thankfully the bleeding stopped and I returned home the next day on modified bed rest. This scene repeated itself two more times but on the third time I was no longer allowed to leave the hospital. I would stay  until the baby came on strict hospital bed rest. I was only allowed to get out of bed to go to the bathroom and one shower a day. I couldn’t walk around, couldn’t lift my toddler, couldn’t do much at all. This went on for nearly three months.

While my world seemed to stop abruptly, everyone else’s seemed to carry one without me. Very few people visit me, texted me or even sent me cards. There were a few people who went out of their way to visit me more than once, I so enjoyed those visits. It got very boring and lonely in a hospital room all by yourself unable to do anything. Knowing people were coming to see me made the day seem a tad more bearable.

Watching church online only fueled my sadness. It was as if I were locked away while everyone forgot all about me. Those feelings were of course magnified by the pregnancy hormones and fear of the unknown but you see, most people dealing with sickness have their judgement clouded by their feelings of fear and loneliness.

One thing that touched me the most while on bed rest was the simple acts of others to know that I wasn’t forgotten; that people cared and were praying for me. The simplest things can make the biggest difference for those on bed rest or shut in.

Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

Simple Ways to Encourage Someone on Bed Rest or Shut In

Visit

Whether you have 10 minutes or an hour, whatever time you can spare try to do so. This simple act makes the biggest difference in brightening someone’s day. They’re battling feeling lonely and forgotten, show them that they’re not by going to see them.

Send Them a Card

When you can’t go and visit, slip a note in the mail. This act alone can take you only five minutes but can change the outlook of the other persons whole day. Send encouraging Bible verses or uplifting quotes if you can’t think of anything to say.

Drop off Goodies

If you can’t stay for visit but you’re in the area, try dropping off coffee, a drive thru meal, or snacks or reading material. Life on bed rest is boring. Super super boring. Anything you have to offer will brighten their day. Trust me.

My cousin dropped off a Beverly Lewis Amish book series to me when I first went into the hospital, 4 years later and I am still completely hooked on Amish novels and Lewis has become my all time favorite author. You never know the impact of what you bring to someone else.

6 simple ways that you can do to encourage someone on bed rest or is shut in.

Shoot Them a Text

A quick 30 second text can cheer someone up and brighten their mood. If they can’t make it to church, a simple “missing you today” text can let them know they aren’t forgotten.

Don’t Forget About the Kids

If the family has children, don’t forget about them. The sickness is just as hard on them as it is for their parents!

It touched my heart when people remembered my toddler when they did come for a visit. Many people brought my 16 month old coloring books and toys that were only to be played with while visiting Mama in the hospital. Being locked in a hospital room for a few hours can be rough for the little guys so having new and exciting toys to entertain them is super helpful and thoughtful.

Often times, the family is bogged down with dealing with the hospital and parking bills so buying new toys for the hospital isn’t on their list of things to buy. Thinking of the kids is such a blessing!

Bring Them a Meal

I worried about what my husband was going to eat while I was in the hospital. I was relieved that my church supplied a few meals a week for him and our son. Without that, they would’ve been eating a box of Cheez-Its every night!

Taking the weight of meals off someone’s shoulders during a hard time is a huge blessing! It is one less thing they have to worry about when they are worried enough.

 

It doesn’t take much to help someone who is struggling. They simply just want to be remembered and not forgotten. So any gesture will always bless them. Whether you’ve walked that path before or not you can still be a blessing to someone in need. It’s hard to put yourself in their shoes but just remember that everyone you meet is fighting their own hard battles, so let’s be kind.

 

Your turn! Have you ever ministered to someone on bed rest or shut in? Or have you been blessed by someone reaching out to you when you needed it?

This post may be linked up with any of these blogs.

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Amanda @ The Fundamental Home
    December 30, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Thank you for this. I have a very good friend who has been fighting cancer, and people often ask me what they can do to be a blessing. Next time, I will send them a link to this post! What a blessing!

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      December 31, 2015 at 10:23 pm

      I am so glad to hear that Amanda! Sometimes it’s the small things that matter most.

  • Reply
    Debbie W.
    December 30, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Great ideas and so simple.

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      December 31, 2015 at 10:23 pm

      Thanks, Debbie. It definitely is the small things that matter most and can make such an impact on others.

  • Reply
    Cathy
    December 30, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Great advice! My mother-in-law has chronic fatigue syndrome and is in a wheel chair. Bringing her meals and goodies and visiting often means a lot to her. Thanks for sharing! I’m visiting from the RaRa link-up. : )

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      December 31, 2015 at 10:24 pm

      That is so sweet of you guys, it really does make the persons day to feel remembered. Thanks for visiting!

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    December 30, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    These are good ideas! And, you know I love Beverly Lewis 😉 Books are the best, cause they take your mind off of life. heh

  • Reply
    Shannon @ Of The Hearth
    December 31, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    Very thoughtful post! I love the suggestions. I’ve never been “shut in,” but I do have an autoimmune disease that has left me quite ill at various times in my life. During these times I’ve stayed home a lot and it is hard to be cut off from your normal interactions.
    I’m eager to try these ideas next time I have a friend or neighbor who is shut in or on bed rest.

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      January 1, 2016 at 11:44 am

      I’m sorry to hear that. It is so hard to be stuck at home when you feel the world is carrying on without you. These ideas really are simple ways to make someone feel remembered. It’s the little things that count!

  • Reply
    Heather at Fearful to Fearless
    January 1, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    These are really great tips! I was on side-lying bedrest (only allowed to get up to go to the bathroom and grab a pre-made snack) with my first and modified rest (aka ‘limited activity’) with my second (and again with my third), whcih was extra hard since my firstborn was only a year old. With my first it was so hard because the day I was put on bedrest the cable company accidentally turned off our cable and internet instead of our neighbor’s who was moving. So there I was, stuck laying on my side, with no TV, no computer, no Netflix, couldn’t crochet since I was laying on my side. It was Friday and the cable company said they couldn’t come out till Monday afternoon, which left me rather displeased! Thankfully my loving parents drove the nearly 2 hours to come bring me a bunch of their movies I hadn’t seen before so I at least had something small to entertain me. When you get time, I’d love for you to come check out my corner of the blogosphere at http://fearfultofearlessblog.com

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      January 1, 2016 at 8:01 pm

      Oh my goodness, Heather! I could no imagine having to lay on one side. The nurses would make me switch sides a lot and avoid my left side (I think my left side!). Bed rest is not the faint of heart. It is such a trying time in a woman’s life. Thank the Lord your parents brought you entertainment!! It’s the small blessings that people remember after everything is all over. Do you have an hip or muscle problems now that you are past the bed rest? I’ve never full recovered from it, unfortunately 🙁

  • Reply
    gigi
    January 3, 2016 at 8:19 am

    What a beautiful post. I think often times people don’t reach out because they are not sure how to do it! I know that seems silly, but I think it might be one reason. Maybe the thought that you might be bothering someone makes you uncomfortable so you are left feel unsure what to do. Another possible idea is to make a CD with special music or maybe a couple podcasts on it and bring that to the person. Thank you for a lovely post—

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      January 3, 2016 at 4:39 pm

      That is such a good point! I know I’ve been stuck in that position of not knowing whether or not I should reach out. Bringing music is another great and easy idea! Thanks Gigi!

  • Reply
    ~ linda
    January 4, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    Yes…yes! These are great and so important. I was a caregiver for 15 years for my mother and learned by doing. Something people often say is, “Is there anything I can do for you?” And then when the sick one or the overwhelmed one says, “No, I’m alright” and then changes the subject, often the asker does nothing. Instead of asking, just volunteer one of the ‘opportunities’ on your list above. That is what needs to happen for this precious person.
    Thanks for sharing your ways of caring.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      January 6, 2016 at 3:10 pm

      Good point! I so agree! Often times the person wanting/needing help feels like a burden and doesn’t want to say what they need. Just doing is a great way to bless them and make them feel less awkward about asking.

  • Reply
    Barbara Search
    May 28, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    I am one of those people. I am in a wheelchair & Oxygen. I just wanted to let you all know that what can make it worse is when other members of the family just go on with there leve without you. the going in & out when you aren’t even asked. I hav’t even a phone , mine was turned off at Christmas last year. Today I asked my daughter about going out & it ended in a big arguement. People it hurts. Really, really hurts. & what is worse there is no end in sight for me . Juust remember that if there is anyone you know visit or call on their phone. Even if all you have is 5 or 10 minutes, please do it. Thanks for listening.

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      May 28, 2016 at 3:32 pm

      Aw, Barbara I am so sorry to hear that. I wish things had turned out differently with your daughter. I think people forget to realize how lonely the bedrest or shut-i people are. I think people thought I felt just fine while I was on bedrest yet I felt so alone and left behind. It is the worst feeling in the world. I do hope those around you will be more sympathetic, I’ll pray for that to happen. Hang in there!

  • Reply
    Alan Burrell
    October 8, 2017 at 3:11 am

    What? Men can’t feel each and every feeling described in all the blog’s read by me on this page? How insensitive and narrow minded you all are. From a dejected, depressed, disgusted and shut in MAN.r

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      October 8, 2017 at 9:35 am

      I’m sorry you are shut in. If you read the article more closely that I use terms such as someone, other person, etc. in my tips. Not once did I say only women or implied it. The beginning story is of my own personal story of being on bedrest and shut in since it’s my blog I do reference my own personal stories to make my points but once I get into the tips I made sure to not use gender-specific nouns and pronouns. I hope people in your life are reaching out to you, saying a prayer!

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