We all know the relevance of practicing the 5 corporal works of mercy and many of us strive to do them as often as possible. Moreover, it’s not always doable with our busy schedules. Definitely, we can give money to those who panhandle outside grocery stores. Of course, we can carve time out of our schedule to visit a soup kitchen on the weekend. Those are always the two works of mercy that are we default to.
What if I told you that there was one single place where you could exercise corporal works of mercy and that you could get them done in a single journey? Yes, it’s possible and it’s in a place often belittled in our society: convalescent hospitals.
Here are the 5 corporal works of mercy you can do on a single visit to a convalescent hospital:
Feed the Hungry
At most convalescent hospitals, you can offer to assist nurses to feed the patients who are unable to feed themselves. You can also assist wheelchair-bound patients to get to and fro their rooms to the dining room. If they can feed themselves but are bed-bound, you can bring them their trays and help return them to trays later.
Give Drink to the Thirsty
Many patients at convalescent hospitals have mobility problems so that are unable to get their most fundamental needs without assistance. You can offer to check in on bed-bound patients during mealtimes and offerss those who can’t afford a drink something to drink.
Clothe the Naked
Most times, there is often a great need for clothing donations as not all the patients arrive at the hospitals with clothes. Some patients are brought to the hospitals off the streets. Others have no family members to assist them to bring clothing once their own have been worn out. While most patients are elderly, there is no discrimination on what kind of clothing is welcomed as long as it’s in good condition.
Visit the Sick
This one is no-brainer… but there’s more to it than most people think. You think “convalescent hospital” and “patients” and you naturally assume that you’ll be visiting the sick. Moreover, did you know that some of them are left at these places, by their families, and are never visited again? I’ve heard stories about how some families don’t return to see their relatives they receive a call that they’ve passed away. Discover who gets no visitors and spend an hour or two with them.
Visit the Imprisoned
Most individuals don’t put the words “hospital” and “prison” together but some patients feel imprisoned at these locations. Whether they are bed-bound or have limited mobility, most patients never see the outside of the hospital unless it’s to be taken to and from other hospitals for procedures. Some convalescent hospitals have activity directors who often take patients out for limited periods of time; think a special birthday lunch or a local convenience store for a treat. You can contribute to assist them during those trips. As with visiting the sick, you can also spend time with those are bedbound and unable to leave.
Whether you visit only once or make it a part of your regular commitment, I highly suggest visiting convalescent hospitals. There are so many patients who are in need of kindness, love, and mercy. Many of them are in their twilight years and have had hard moments in their lives. I cannot think of a better place to show them a little human compassion before their time on earth is up.