(Exactly) What to Say to Someone in the Hospital

Being in the hospital can be a really scary experience for some people, and deciding what to say to someone in the hospital can also be hard.

Do you just give them well wishes?

Do you ask them what you need?

There are a variety of things to say to someone in the hospital, but it all depends on why they’re in there and what the prognosis is.

You could be wondering what to say to someone having surgery, what to say to someone after surgery, or what to say to someone having a baby.

Use this guide when you’re signing a card for someone in the hospital, visiting someone in the hospital, or talking on the phone to someone in the hospital.

Ultimately, the intention behind your words mean more than the exact words themselves, so stay sympathetic, kind, and hopeful for the person in the hospital.

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1. Basic Get Well Soon

If you’re struggling with what to say, a basic get well soon and quotes about caring about someone is totally fine.

Sometimes, you don’t need a ton of words to get across the sentiment that you are sending them healing thoughts.

This is a good idea for someone that know has an issue that isn’t terminal – a “get well soon” message to someone who has been told that they won’t get well at all is not a good idea and can only lead to making them more upset.

However, in the vast majority of cases, saying a “get well soon” to someone in the hospital is completely legitimate and a nice thing to say.

2. Tell Them When You’re Visiting Next

If your friend or relative is in the hospital, it’s always nice to let them know when you’ll visit them next.

You could be talking to them on the phone and tell them that you’re coming to visit later today, or you could be visiting with them in person and leaving them for the day, with the promise that you’ll come back tomorrow.

Action speak louder than words, and a visit always means more than anything you could say.

So use your words to tell them when to expect you, and you’ll make their day a bit brighter and less lonely with some company to look forward to.

3. Make a Joke to Lighten the Mood

If the person in the hospital has a sense of humor that would accept a joke in these circumstances, make one!

You don’t have to be super serious and sappy the entire time someone is in the hospital.

Often, making a joke to lighten the mood can help brighten their spirit and make them feel a bit more normal.

You could make a joke about anything within reason, maybe a get well soon joke or maybe the room is disorganzed with clothes thrown everywhere and you can say something like “You’re still a walking tornado, I see! The doctors better watch out that they don’t get hit in the head by a shoe or something!”

Figuring out what to say to someone in the hospital that is normally a joking person or a class clown really all comes down to making them laugh and not making them feel like they’re in a scary situation.

4. Ask them What They Need from You

It’s often better to tell the person in the hospital what you’re doing for them so you don’t put the pressure on them to figure out what they need, but in some cases, you don’t know the person well enough to do that or you’re really not sure what they need in that moment, so ask them.

“Hey, I would love to help you out with the house as I know no one is there right now. What needs to be done, mowing, weeding, vacuuming? I’ll go and do it on my way home!” or you can ask them what they need in that very moment, as they might need you to call a nurse for more meds or they need an extra pillow or are wondering where lunch is.

5. Give Them Hope That They Will Be Out Soon (if Possible)

If someone is in the hospital with anything but a terminal prognosis, the idea is that they will be able to leave and go back to their normal life (or what their new normal will be).

Feed them positive thoughts and hope that they can get out of the hospital soon, as no one likes to be in the hospital and the mental energy of being able to get out eventually can help someone in their recovery.

6. Tell Them That You’re Thinking of Them

In addition to a “get well soon,” just the words “I’m thinking of you” can go a long way to someone in the hospital.

Especially if they’re about to go into surgery or are dealing with the effects of after surgery, it helps to know that people outside the hospital room and outside the hospital walls are thinking of you.

Make sure that your words aren’t empty and actually follow through on thinking about them and texting them and calling them when you can’t be there in person, but rest assured that the sentiment that you’re thinking about them is really comforting and may make someone feel less lonely or scared.

What to Say in Other Situations

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