December 4, 2013 Leave a comment
Help Your Patients Make the Most of Visitors During The Holidays
Whether your patients are in the hospital or under your care in their homes as a private nurse, it isn’t fun being sick during the holidays. But what is most important is that a patient gets better – and visitors need to understand how to be the best type of visitor during this merry and jolly season. Some may be tempted to bring a bottle of champagne to ring in the New Year and have “just a little glass” but for someone on medication that doesn’t mix with alcohol; this can be a great risk. Your patients are counting on you – whether they realize it or not – to help guide them and their visitors to understand how to visit and what type of gifts are okay to bring.
Sometimes the best gift of all is not a “present” but simply to give your “presence.” Many who are sick love to have a visitor. Depending on their medical condition, they may not be permitted to have certain foods or plants. If they are ill but permitted to have visitors it may be easiest to let visitors know to just come and spend time with their loved one.
Share photos or videos. Today’s technology makes it so much easier to keep in touch with that soon-to-be new mom or grandma while she is on the mend. Encourage loved ones to bring photos in frames or in their phones to share, or videos to show their loved ones.
Offering a helping hand while someone is sick can often be quite welcomed. Many who are sick worry about their daily life, and how smoothly all is running in their absence. If you tell loved ones they could offer to walk the dog, feed the cat or take their children on a fun outing that would likely mean more to them than a box of candy they may not be permitted to eat. Best of all, this may be something that is quite convenient for them to do, something they would have done anyway out of the goodness of their heart.
The comforts of home are another wonderful gift a visitor can bring, as long as they are permitted, depending on someone’s condition. If a visitor can bring cozy socks or a sweater from home, this may make someone feel more comfortable and at ease while in the hospital or a rehab center.
If food is permitted to bring then remind the visitor to check if there are any guidelines for food. The patient may have dietary restrictions based on their current medical conditions they didn’t have before. Bringing in a small quantity of food may be the ideal choice, a selection of holiday cookies or treats if these are allowed. A storage container is suggested so the patient could enjoy them for a day or so following the visit.
Remind those who visit to check with the nursing station about the suggested time for a visit. Some patients may be up for a longer visit and others may need a short one. Most patients are happy to see visitors but all patients do need their rest.