Select Page
Kiki answers questions…What should you have on hand for guests?

Kiki answers questions…What should you have on hand for guests?

Today’s question is prompted by an anonymous follower who says, “I’d love to hear more factual tips and tricks to hosting.”

First of all a disclaimer, I don’t claim anything on this blog is “factual” except for the address. When I do use “facts” from subject experts they are referenced, usually with a link for more information. In these days of Fake News, Alternate Facts, and Optics (whatever that means) I want to be painfully honest about the material I am disseminating.

With that said, how about some tips on Guest Accoutrements? Or Stuff to Have on Hand for House Guests. This does not include food. That’s for another post.

When my husband and I first set up housekeeping in our “garbage level” apartment, guests were lucky to get a spot on the floor and directions to McDonalds. Strangely enough we still had A LOT of company. Must have been the cable. As we matured, along with our guests, we were able to offer better accommodations.

For beginners, remember you are doing someone a favor. There is no need to go crazy with a bunch of stuff you don’t normally keep on hand and will never use again. At a minimum, you need to offer a place to sleep that is as quiet and private as you can provide along with clean linens and towels. If you cannot provide these basic things, you should let the guest know in advance so they can make arrangements. For instance they may need to bring a sleeping bag or their own pillow, and that’s OK. You should also leave a note on paper with your address, phone number, and—if you trust this guest—you internet access code.

Once you get more established (and have accumulated freebies from enough hotels) there are things you can add to that list. Here’s what Adele from Arkansas suggests:

“Provide a place for their suitcase, some empty horizontal space for them to set out their things, an empty drawer and some empty closet space with hangers, an empty small basket or two.  Provide shampoo, conditioner, blow dryer, toothpaste.  Have a few feminine products available just in case.  Be prepared to provide just about anything—in case their luggage didn’t make it– hair brush, deodorant, new toothbrush (I always have plenty from my trips to the dentist). Have a lined and covered trash container in the bathroom (so that your dog does not get into their trash).  Put a container of water and a couple of glasses in their room.  Have a throw blanket handy.  Be sure to ask if there is anything that they need.  Make sure there is a variety of bed pillows – some folks like firm, some like soft and some need an extra pillow for their knees.  If possible provide a place to sit and read in their room for when they need some peace and quiet.  Provide a radio that is easy to turn on, change channel and set alarm.  And, very important, provide some kind of night light so that they can safely find their way to the bathroom in the middle of the night.”

Whew. She’s good!

For the advanced host, I would add to that list: noise machine; flashlight; and brochures from local attractions.

If Adele and I have forgotten anything please let me know in the Comments section below.

Thank you for visiting and I’ll be back on Wednesday with House Guests and Graduations.


Hospice and House Guests; Godsend or Nightmare? Question of the week.

An update: I researched this question for “expert” advice. While I found a lot of information, there was very little about challenges presented by people who come to visit the Hospice patient. That’s interesting because guests have been an issue (good and bad) in almost every Hospice situation I’m familiar with.

Here’s my number one piece of advice: Don’t be a swooper! A swooper is someone who comes in and, with the best of intentions, starts giving advice and even changing things up. This is not helpful and is often a terrible burden for the caregiver who must undo what the swooper has done. It can also upset the patient who starts to question their care. JUST DON’T DO IT!

I also found some solid advice at An example is below.

Here are six steps you can take to be an effective caregiver:

  • Work and communicate effectively with the patient.
  • Support the patient’s spiritual concerns.
  • Help to resolve the patient’s unfinished business.
  • Work with health professionals.
  • Work with family and friends.
  • Take care of your own needs and feelings.

Original Post from Friday: This week’s question for my visitors to respond to comes from Dee in Virginia, and is one I can relate to after having my mother as a Hospice patient in our home. As my family was going through this difficult time, hearing the wisdom of others would have been such a gift. I am grateful to Dee for giving me the chance to offer that solace to others. I look forward to your comments.

“I would love to hear your thoughts on guests  that come to visit a family member  who is in hospice at your home and stay to ‘help’ and wish to spend  precious time with the patient.  Godsend or nightmare?  Advice  on walking that fine line on being accommodating to relatives and taking care of yourself. Thanks”

Pin It on Pinterest