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Caring For Your Loved One

It is very important for family and friends to be present and actively engaged with patients during their hospital stay. Patients tend to be less confused and disoriented, and they respond better to treatment when they recognize and can interact with familiar faces.

Mary Washington Healthcare encourages family members and friends to stay with patients as much as possible to make their hospital visit more tolerable.

Children and elderly patients especially need more attention from loved ones during this time, as well as patients who:

  • Typically require a companion at home
  • Become disoriented in new or unfamiliar environments
  • Are uncomfortable around new or strange people
  • Have been known to wander
  • Have a negative attitude toward being hospitalized

Things you can do to make the hospital stay better

  • If you know your loved one is going to be admitted, talk to your doctor about how the stay is likely to affect his or her thinking and behavior.
  • Have a family meeting to discuss responsibilities, such as who will stay at the hospital during surgery and how to alternate visiting hours to share care-giving.
  • Talk to your loved one about the upcoming hospital stay and involve him or her in discussions and decision-making as much as possible.
  • Make your loved one feel comfortable away from home by bringing a photograph, favorite blanket, or security item.
  • Remain with your loved one as much as possible. Try to be in the room when he or she wakes in the morning, when medications are given, or when the doctor stops by.
  • Communicate regularly with your loved one when you cannot be there. Phone often or leave notes.

MWHC is committed to providing the best clinical and medical care to your family member or loved one.

We understand that there may be times when family or friends cannot be at the hospital. At those times, a sitter can provide companionship. Our nursing staff is happy to work with you in seeking out assistance for your loved one, including hiring a hospital companion. Ask us for a list of local personal care agencies that can provide a sitter for your loved one.

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