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Bringing kids to the hospital

 
 
PUNKEY
 
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2015 01:31 pm
I have a friend who is from a large Italian family. Whenever a member is in the hospital, the entire family treks up to the hospital. That means babies, children, teens, parents, uncles, etc. etc.

My friend's mother is 95. She had an extensive oral surgery and is now in re-hab in the hospital. She's had complications from post-surgery issues, including constipation, UTI, dehydration, etc. She doesn't look good at all (along with a lot of other people on that floor) In fact - including the smell, etc. - it's not a pleasant place to be. Still, they drag these kids (girls and boys 7, 8 years old) up there to see their grandma. She just nods at them. She's sick now, but is expected to recover and go home soon.

Am I off on this? I don't think the kids should be up there. They can make a card or do a video for her to look at later.

Your thoughts?
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Type: Question • Score: 13 • Views: 3,855 • Replies: 38

 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2015 01:56 pm
@PUNKEY,
Quite honestly it depends on the kids and the person who is sick in the hospital. If the kids know how to behave and the sick patient would really love to see them, then what's the harm?

Some kids it is not frightening to see people who are sick. Especially if they are regularly brought to the hospital. It is a reality in life that people get ill even seriously ill.

My kids went to see my grandmother when she was in the hospital; my dad when he was too.

My kids always went with my mom to see their great-grandmother in the nursing home. Now talk about smells and bedridden patients and even some that were a bit looney. But they got to know some of the other patients there and they loved seeing the kids.

I also know some children that are very sensitive to such things -- in those cases, I wouldn't recommend it -- also kids that are a bit more energtic -- loud, can't sit still - I would not recommend either.

Now in this situation -- do the kids want to see grandmom? Does it make them upset to see her sick or has it been explained to them about what to expect to see when they visit? Kids can understand alot more than you may think and at 7 and 8 depending on the child, it would not upset them. Does the grandmother want to see them? Even if she just nods at them -- maybe it gives her great joy to see them.
saab
 
  2  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2015 01:57 pm
@PUNKEY,
It is not only a question of bringing kids or not.
When someone is very serious ill they need to rest. Visitors should be in the room - one bed or more does not make any difference - one at the time sometimes two and just for a short time.
Let the patient talk.
Let there be a long paus and then some other visitors can be there. But all kinds of people all the time all day long.
Many people at the same time means they will talk to oneanother and the poor patient will be overly tired.
Chidren can come along if you explain what it might be like, but again just for a short time - a few minutes and only one at the time. The other one the next day.
glitterbag
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2015 01:59 pm
@PUNKEY,
I was hospitalized with colitis I think two years ago. Hospitals are not a restful place. Several nights I was kept awake by infants crying. I wasn't in the maternity ward and it was stressful listening to this at 3 in the morning. In 2008, I was waiting for news of my husbands by-pass in an area set aside for family of people having some sort of cardiac surgery. Anybody who has been thru this knows what a stressful time it is for everyone. For the first hour there were only 4 people waiting for outcomes. The husband and sister of one women having bypass, and me and our son. After an hour or so, a large group came in with two coolers and basically set up a party room. They were loud, busy passing around soda cans and sandwiches, some of them removed their shoes and put their bare feet on the upholstery. They played video games, shouted back and forth and were oblivious to the other people waiting.

I don't think you're mistaken Punky, hospitals are for sick people, not parties. I don't want visitors when I'm in the hospital, i know my husband wants to be with me, but I'd rather him get rested and well nourished. Obviously I don't tell him he can't come, but I'd rather him be with me if I'm in crisis, and I sure as hell don't want the whole clan to be in my room.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2015 02:03 pm
@saab,
I agree - I should have added when I stated depends on the sick person - on whether they can handle visitors and how many/how quiet, etc.

As far as what a patient wants is very important. For some they would love to see their grandchildren, for others they don't want anybody around. My dad loved having people around -- he loved the attention even when he was tired. But many people do not like it.

I know when my niece was hit by a car and in the emergency room, I spoke with my sister in law on the phone not too long after they arrived. I asked her - do you want me to come? She said yes. Then, because my kids are so close to her and they really wanted to be there for their cousin, I told her that they really wanted to come, did she want them there (my kids know proper behaviour and they are tween and teenager) -- she said no I don't think it is a good idea. I respected her wishes even though the kids threw a fit. I let them know you need to respect aunties wishes.

Very important to really know what the patient wants and can handle more than anything
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2015 02:04 pm
@PUNKEY,
PUNKEY wrote:
Your thoughts?

Maybe I just don't know a lot about hospitals, but if there is a pervasive bad smell, I would be very unhappy if my relative were there. I would take it to mean that there was an unacceptable lack of cleanliness somewhere.

As far as bringing kids, I might advise bringing them now and then, but not every single visitation. And probably not all of them at once.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2015 02:10 pm
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:

PUNKEY wrote:
Your thoughts?

Maybe I just don't know a lot about hospitals, but if there is a pervasive bad smell, I would be very unhappy if my relative were there. I would take it to mean that there was an unacceptable lack of cleanliness somewhere.

As far as bringing kids, I might advise bringing them now and then, but not every single visitation. And probably not all of them at once.


I think I understand what punky is saying -- there is a hospital smell.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2015 02:13 pm
@Linkat,
Hospitals have such a distinctive odor.

I started as a volunteer over 40 years ago ... and many years and many hospitals later ... they all smell kind of the same.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  3  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2015 02:14 pm
And just to let you know how different kids can be -- or weird -- my friend as a young child was at a funeral -- her mother being a part of a church would attend many funerals and bring her young daughter.

One time as they were leaving a funderal my friend was crying. Some busy body said -- shame on you bringing a young child to a funeral no wonder she is crying. Her mother's response - she isn't crying because I am making her go to the funeral, she is crying because I am making her leave.

I guess she liked being around all the people and almost the party feel where they have food and stuff. Viewing the body didn't bother her.
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2015 02:18 pm
Rehabilitation after operations isn't done in hospitals here but mainly in special rehab-clinics. And those have special rooms for visitors, including children spaces.

In hospitals, visits by large families really can be ... well, loud. (Italians really do hospital visits with all the clan.) I remember when the missus was in hospital, and three bed rooms were still standard here, a Turkish and an Italian woman were her bed neighbours ...
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2015 02:19 pm
@Linkat,
Agreed.

If the person in the hospital and the kids are good with it, I think it's a good idea for them to go visit.

It can make a significant difference in the recovery process if there are visitors - even if they are brief visits.

Also, gotta respect the cultural factors. Some cultures - it's appropriate for everyone to do everything together - including hospital visits. I live in between a couple of large middle-eastern communities and there is a major hospital in the area. It's not unusual to see very large family groups on the lawn outside the hospital, set up at a couple of picnic tables, with a nurse and the patient in wheelchair in the middle of it all ... and pretty much every time the families are the ones of middle-eastern origin (or sometimes mediterranean). A few times staff has brought patients out in hospital beds.

It always makes me smile - makes me think of my mother's stories and pix of being a nurse in Germany in the 1950's. She assisted a doc who felt patients had to spend some time outside every day - including babies in incubators.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2015 02:21 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:
In hospitals, visits by large families really can be ... well, loud. (Italians really do hospital visits with all the clan.)



ohhhhh yeahhhh
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2015 02:28 pm
I guess I was thinking of the kids - traumatized by old sick people.

Overly warm rooms, body odor, dirty hair, disinfectant, urine? What is that smell? It never leaves you.


Thanks to everyone who replied.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2015 02:38 pm
@PUNKEY,
Punky also to be honest, I would have been terrified as a kid to go to a hospital or nursing home or rehab type hospital, but funny thing is my own kids it doesn't seem to bother.

They loved going to the nursing home and visiting, they would talk to the other residents there and they loved the kids and would wave and talk with them.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2015 03:00 pm
@Linkat,
I can't speak to the smell/odors as I've a very diminished sense of smell.

When my grandmother died when I was nine, we lived in another state, so the last time I saw her was two years before. She hadn't been healthy but I remember liking her a lot, sick as she was in those years. I remember her asking me to thread a needle for her, so she was still sewing two years before. It might have been good for me, a growth experience, to see her stressed out in the hospital when she was dying, but I don't really know. I know I have pleasant memories of her; I still have her old purple felt hat with a veil.

I worked in several hospitals later, and liked them. In part they helped me grow up, meeting so many different people than those in my tiny family, people with lots of different opinions. Not as many different as in a2k threads, but very different than I had known before. As to whether or not to take the children to see granny, for me there are varying issues.

In no special order,

- are you doing this all for granny? is granny stressed by it?
I agree with someone's point about not crowding and stressing.

- are you italian? Much as I talk about Italy, I'm not, and would probably would not want a whole caboodle of family visiting me while I was going through all the stuff Punkey mentioned. It might even frighten granny, as in, "am I dying?" On the other hand, sometimes matters turn, and if they did, that particular family might strongly regret not being there.
Depending on the family, granny might be glad to get away.

- depends on the children too, as others have said. Aside from sensitivity, can they be quiet? There are other patients to think of too.

- depends on the adults as well. Are the uncles (etc.) boisterously loud?


0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  2  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2015 05:16 pm
No, I'm not Italian. (Irish-American. Kids are not even seen, much less heard. LOL)

But, bless her heart, she really does look scary. Not herself .

So what does that do for a great-grandaughter? (this isn't her Nonna - this is a scary looking old lady)

I don't like kids to be used to make adults feel better. I guess I'm overly sensitive about that.

BTW - I have not mentioned a thing to my friend.
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2015 05:57 pm
@PUNKEY,
Like I said it depends on the kids - some they will understand and not be upset. If they can be made to understand that she will not look like herself, but she will get better and they are fine with it then ok. A more sensitive not so much.

My kids did visit their great-grandmom and their granddad when they were both ill in the hospital and in rehab. They wanted to be there. Sometimes they didn't look too good.

Even when my dad was close to dying, they wanted to be there. Each kid is different and I would hope the parents know best.

My friend had no issue as a small child seeing a dead body during a funeral. I was terrified.
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2015 06:24 pm
@Linkat,
When I was pre-school age my mother used to have a real problem with me on the main street in our hometown as there was a funeral home that I always wanted to go into.

Apparently I tried to crash a few funerals as a toddler after going to one and enjoying it Confused
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Mar, 2015 07:24 am
@ehBeth,
Cute - kids have a whole different perspective on life......and death.
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Mar, 2015 08:14 am
@PUNKEY,
I think kids need to know about death. It's tough but useful.
0 Replies
 
 

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