Helping the Sick Feel Seen

  So often people are engulfed in their own day-to-day life, that we don’t think about what is going on behind the eyes of another.  We walk past individuals, not saying hello, not giving an affirmation in the form a smile or a nod.  Think about your worst day, did you feel alone?  Did you feel that you blended into the background of life and no one saw your pain?  This is how it can feel to be sick or terminally ill, especially when you are a patient in the hospital, or on hospice.  

                We challenge you today, to be the person that makes others feel special, to make yourself known for your kindness and grace.  We can take the lessons from those that care for patients, such as in the hospital.  Nurses, doctors, and all support staff caring for patients must do this daily, with multiple patients, giving each one special attention.  Below are ways in which they show their patients that they are “seen”. 

  1. ISeeU Blankets- A not for profit organization started by an ICU nurse, Alexandra Marcello in a hospital in Queens, NY.  During covid, patients were dying and their family was not allowed to be with them.  A hand-made blanket is given to the patient, which not only helps the patient be seen as an individual, but also acknowledges and shows respect to the family in their time of grief.  

           Sympathy bags are then made for families that lost their loved one containing a memory candle, flower seeds, and the ISeeU Blanket that covered them during their illness.  Families feel a connection and solace knowing that the blanket they received comforted their loved one. Reference: https://www.iseeublankets.org/

  1. Physical touch- holding their hand
  2. Listening to Fears
  3. Asking about their life- what was their career, about their children
  4. Placing Photos of the patient (with family) before they were sick
  5. Smiling, saying hello- It seems so simple, but can make the difference for someone that is in physical or mental pain

Watch our segment below on Fox Rochester where CEO and Founder, Debbie Bernacki, discusses this topic in depth.