5 Tips for Visiting Friends and Family in Hospital

No one wants to think about visiting a loved one in hospital, but unfortunately it happens when you least expect it. It’s better to be prepared as to how to be a good guest when visiting someone who isn’t feeling their best, so you can help comfort them and make their hospital stay more pleasant. Here are my top 5 tips for visiting friends and family in hospital:

1) Ask First
It’s important to check in with the patient first to make sure they’re feeling up to visitors before you turn up unexpectedly. If for some reason you’re unable to talk to the patient directly, because they’re in surgery or feeling very ill, it would be smart to ask their closet family member or partner if they’re ready for visitors. Please do not show up without asking prior as it can be quite stressful for the patient, it takes a lot of energy to recover from an injury or surgery. If you find yourself suffering from an injury and want to contact a lawyer to seek legal advice, consider talking with medical negligence solicitors London to see what options you have.  

2. Be Ultra Hygienic
Make sure to be careful with hygiene when visiting someone in hospital. If someone has a weakened immune system, such as someone going through chemo or a newborn baby, if you accidentally pass on a small infection the effects can be really severe on their fragile body. As such, if you’ve been recently unwell, are recovering from an illness, no matter how minor it seems, please do not visit someone with a weakened immune system. If you’re healthy, take the time to wash your hands before and after contact with a patient.3. Take Things to Comfort the Patient
If you’re visiting a mother who’s just given birth, consider taking something for the mother. Often people take gifts for the babies, which is sweet, but the mother has just given birth or endured surgery and probably could use something to cheer her up. Flowers are always a safe bet and they help brighten up hospital rooms which are usually quite bland.

4. Ask if They Need Anything
I once visited a friend in hospital and worse than her pain from surgery was her boredom so I took her a few magazines and she was so thrilled. You can lend the patient your Kindle or ebook reader if they don’t have one, take them some books or magazines to read or take in a USB with a few good movies for them to watch. Helping pass the time is a great, inexpensive gift that can really brighten up someone’s stay.

5. Don’t Overstay Your Welcome
Keep briefs short and pleasant. For people who you are not very close to, I think a 30-60 minute visit is a good length of time. Of course for closer family members you can probably spend longer, but it’s always better to keep things brief to ensure you do not place any undue stress on the patient. Often when someone is in hospital they’re pretty uncomfortable and even if they put on a brave face, it’s likely they require a lot of time to rest and sleep.

Visiting someone in hospital can be a little stressful, but it’s important to show those you care about that you’re thinking of them and wishing them a speedy recovery. With these simple steps you can show your friends and family that you love them, without adding more stress to their recovery.

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