Friends and Caregivers forum: Going Visiting.

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ImageLadygardener1
Dec 3, 2010 1:26 PM CST
Name: Chris
NW Pa, Near Lake Erie
Before you head out the door there are a few things to consider. If the patient is in chemo their immune system is down, so if you or anyone in you household is or has been sick it is best to not visit.
Don't wear heavy scents, sometimes the chemo makes the nose very sensitive to aftershaves and perfume.
Before you go put on a happy positive face. Your good mood goes a long way.
ImageDaylilyDiva219
Jan 17, 2012 10:00 PM CST
Name: Barb
Falls Church, VA
Zone 7a
Wonderful words of wisdom from a good and caring friend. Lovey dubby

Sometimes it also helps to call a family member ahead of time to see if they know how many people might be visiting. It's good to try to schedule things, if at all possible, to keep from tiring the patient out. They're glad to see you, but...!

In that same vein, try not to stay too long, and be aware of any signs of fatigue. Help them to get any things they need before you leave - extra water, tissues, books, magazines, whatever. Helping hands are really welcome in hospitals these days.
Breathe in, Breathe out...Move on - Jimmy Buffett
ImageDaylilyDiva219
Jan 18, 2012 8:33 AM CST
Name: Barb
Falls Church, VA
Zone 7a
In addition to what Chris said about heavy perfumes, if you're bringing flowers, try not to get ones that have strong smells. Stargazer Lilies, while beautiful, can make one's eyes water and stomach churn in a small room! Do a "sniff test" before you buy any flowers, just in case. Whistling
Breathe in, Breathe out...Move on - Jimmy Buffett
Imagecritterologist
Jan 24, 2012 3:21 PM CST
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD
I know I was happy to see friends stop by when I didn't have the oomph to get out anywhere... but it was really helpful to have a heads-up earlier in the day so I could get some rest right before they came. For me, the best thing anybody could do was to spend some time playing with Joyanna and doing things I wished I were able to do with her, whether it was stacking blocks or running around the yard. I don't know how many times I said that summer, if I know she's OK, then I'm OK.

So, if you're not sure what to offer to do (or not do) during your visit -- ask! "Can I walk the dog?" "Should I water those plants while I'm here?" And maybe bring along something to read, knitting, or whatnot... because sometimes it's wonderful to have company, but keeping up a conversation the whole time may be too tiring, and it's hard to say "can we stop talking now because I'm tired." So, as Barb suggested, watch for cues, and take some "down time" during your visit.
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ImageDaylilyDiva219
Jan 24, 2012 6:18 PM CST
Name: Barb
Falls Church, VA
Zone 7a
Jill, I'm glad you mentioned bringing "stuff" to do while visiting. I wound up doing this as a secondary caregiver to a dear friend who was dealing with Stage IV colon cancer, so there were many hospital stays. Sad My "shift" was from about 4 PM until she was ready to go to sleep, usually 8 PM or later,
and I always brought reading material, crossword puzzles, and other busy work to do while she dozed, so she wouldn't feel obligated to keep up a conversation. Now, more than ever, it's so important to have another pair of eyes and hands when you're hospitalized. Group hug

EXCELLENT advice to ask specific questions re:helping, instead of "what can I do?" Thumbs up

And visiting when your friend is at home is a whole new category - wonderful. advice to come to play with the little ones!

I agree Calling to ask when a good time to visit would be, whether at home or in the hospital, is a huge help to the patient AND their family! Group hug
Breathe in, Breathe out...Move on - Jimmy Buffett
Imagehaighr
Jan 31, 2012 6:27 AM CST
Name: Candee Gaye
Western Maryland
Been there, Done that!
Jill makes a great point. Don't just offer the typical "If you need something" ... be specific and ask "Can I make your dinner, or walk the dog or change the linens." That way you are just diving in helping.
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ImageDaylilyDiva219
Jan 31, 2012 9:37 AM CST
Name: Barb
Falls Church, VA
Zone 7a
I agree Yep, Candee, so many times the families involved are just so overwhelmed with the day-to-day aspects of the medical situation, they can't THINK of what to tell you that you could do to help.
Breathe in, Breathe out...Move on - Jimmy Buffett

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