I was working today, at a hospital in a ward with elderly people. I’d say there is roughly 30-35 patients, some waiting for a better equipped home for dementia patients, some waiting for decisions whether they need elderly care home or extra home nursing care, and some waiting to be discharged after they get better.
But there was one thing in common, I didn’t see many relatives visiting these people. I spent a few weeks in a hospital myself, as a patient, last autumn. Luckily for me, my partner and parents visited me each and every day. Had they not, I would have felt so bored, so totally alone in there, even with the nurses and other staff popping by to my room every now and then to ask, if everything was OK, or to measure some vital signs.
Our grandparents, or parents who are hospitalised, might appreciate us visiting them, if not every day, at least often. Phone call and text messages that we send to each others, they mean a lot but don’t actually replace the actually physical presence.
At least here in Finland, there are elderly people living in elderly care homes, places which are operated by bare minimum staff, and the for the old people it means that they can’t get out of the building, or there isn’t enough activities organised for them. I suggest that we all take some time from our schedules and volunteer in these homes to assist the elderly, so that we enrich our lives through the experience, and give value for them by doing things together with them.
Sounds like a good idea?