Kissing it Better

How to create the perfect hospital goody bag

November 2019

We like to give out little goody bags of joy when we visit people in hospitals or care homes. Here are some ideas…

The bag:

Make it as colourful as possible, but steer clear of pink. Our KiB volunteers often take in goody bags for a whole ward so they may not know the people they are visiting – and many older men are not great fans of pink. Blues, reds, purples and stripes are a safe bet.

The contents:

It’s usually dry and hot in healthcare environments, so a lip salve or lip balm is a wonderful gift.

Tissues and wipes are always welcome.

A notebook and pen is incredibly useful to jot down notes like: ‘ask the doctor about new pain medication’ or ‘remind my granddaughter to feed the cat’. If you are visiting people with dementia, ask staff if you should remove the pen top in case of accidental swallowing.

A comb is handy for taming bed-hair. Staying groomed helps people hang onto their sense of self if they’ve been in hospital or a care home for a long time.

A sweet-smelling soap: we like to add mini Lux soaps to our bags, or some other vintage soap that was popular in the 1940s and 50s. Old-fashioned scents feel comforting and familiar (they also make the bedside area smell nice!)