When someone we care about is in the hospital or is recovering at home, we often feel the need to reach out to them and visit them.
This is a wonderful thing and should be done, but there are right and wrong ways to visit.
- Do not visit if you are feeling in any way sick or think you might be contagious. The patient likely has a compromised immune system, so you could inadvertently make them sick with something else or sicker than they already are.
- Ask the patient if they are up to having visitors, and tell them to be honest. They may feel too tired or weak to see anyone, in which case, it would be better to visit at a different time. If they do feel as though they can handle a visit, don’t stay too long; they are trying to get better, and too long a visit could wear them out unnecessarily. Try to limit your visit to under an hour.
- Make sure that your hands are clean before you touch anything. Wash them with soap and warm water for about 20 seconds and then use hand sanitizer both before your visit and after you leave. You don’t want to be a carrier for infections either in or out.
- Do not expect the patient to entertain you. You are supposed to be helping to take care of the sick or recovering person, not the other way around.
- Keep your emotions in check. While it can be difficult to see someone you love in a vulnerable state, the last thing that person needs to be doing is trying to comfort you when he/she is the one that is sick. You are there to provide support, you should not expect to be supported.
- While gifts are a very nice thing to bring with you, be conscientious about what you bring. Make sure that it is not something that is going to invoke an allergic reaction for either the patient or anyone else, especially if you are visiting in a hospital where there are a lot of sick people who are more vulnerable. Be wary of flowers, rubber balloons, or certain food items. Consider instead things like cards, books, gowns or slippers. Also, check with the hospital before you go to find out what their policies are with gifts as they may have restrictions on what you can bring in as well.
- Try to help the staff caring for your loved one when you can with things like refilling the water pitcher or adjusting the linens. Just don’t touch any of the equipment.
If you would like more information, contact Aspire Hospital today!