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If in hospital, would you prefer visitors for the whole of 'visiting time', or to be left alone?

(26 Posts)
BlackNoSugar Tue 14-Jul-15 14:26:21

Just having this chat with my mum. Last year my dad was in hospital for nearly 2 weeks, and wanted my mum there at 2pm as visiting started, right up until they kicked her out at 9pm. He had an op a few months later, and exactly the same routine. I was driving her to and from the hospital, and at pickup I'd arrive and he'd be staring into space or watching the general goings-on in the ward; she'd be reading the paper or half asleep in the chair.

I can't imagine anything worse than having a visitor stuck by the bed for 7 hours a day, no real conversation, no privacy anyway. If you've got a visitor you can't read a book or play with your phone or watch tv, you have to 'interact'. I'd be happy for someone to pop in, stay half an hour, then bugger off and leave me to do what I want - even if that is just lying there feeling sorry for myself.

Sparklingbrook Tue 14-Jul-15 14:29:24

I think everyone's different. If I personally was in hospital I would say no visitors at all bar DH and the DC, and only then if they wanted to come, I wouldn't fuss if they didn't want to.

It's weird though because as soon as you go into hospital people you haven't seen for ages suddenly want to start visiting you. confused

findingmyfeet12 Tue 14-Jul-15 14:31:05

I hate having hospital visitors. I much prefer to be left alone and wouldn't be offended if my family didn't visit (although they have done whenever I've been in hospital).

Cocolepew Tue 14-Jul-15 14:34:13

Any hospital I've known you get from 2 until 4 or 5 then visiting allowed again at 7.
That's an awful long time to be sitting there. Your poor mum (and dad for being in hospital)

wankerchief Tue 14-Jul-15 14:35:00

Id like a short visit from the kids and dp, they can drop me off food and other goodies, chat for 20mins then piss off

Toooldtobearsed Tue 14-Jul-15 14:37:18

I was in hospital for a week, at the other end of the country from where I live.

It was bliss.

I loathe visiting people in hospital and hated having visitors when I was in there.

5 minutes. 5 minutes should be the maximum permitted visiting time. Time to drop off anything that is needed (chocolate,magazines, grapes, money)!, do the 'how are you' routine.

I don't spend more time than that talking to dh at home, so buggered if I would deliberately drive to hospital to do it grin

Lottie4 Tue 14-Jul-15 14:39:05

Everyone is different, maybe your Dad was feeling a bit vulnerable, or maybe he wanted the company and to help him still feel part of the family. Sounds like to me that probably he just wanted the company of someone he cared about.

If I was well enough I think I'd like having visitors to break things up, but personally I don't think I would expect my DH to sit with me for the whole time.

Sparklingbrook Tue 14-Jul-15 14:41:06

Hospital visiting is really draining. Time goes backwards and after 20 minutes there's nothing left to talk about. Plus there's a risk of taking germs in so i think the fewer visitors the better spending the least time there.

ALittleFaith Tue 14-Jul-15 14:43:23

I've been in a couple of times. I liked visitors for about an hour max. Any more wore me out!

As a nurse, I'd say it's difficult if someone has a visitor for the whole of visiting (especially 2-9!) because if we need to do care with the patient it's rather awkward and you have to effectively kick the visitor out for a bit!

Sparklingbrook Tue 14-Jul-15 14:44:08

I also think the protected mealtimes are a good idea.

gobbin Tue 14-Jul-15 14:54:13

For my recent stays (last one being 5 weeks) I didn't want any visitors for the first couple of weeks apart from DH, DS and DM. Just said something like 'no visitors for the moment, sorry, too ill and scary-looking!' on Fb.

When I was more up for it and a couple of people had come by, I said 'lovely to see X today' on Fb which gave people the ok to drop in. By the end there was a gentle flow and some days nobody (which was fine too).

DH and DS would get bored after half an hr so they were there most days but just for a short time.

BlackNoSugar Tue 14-Jul-15 14:56:01

Dad was in isolation for the first few days so I can understand wanting company, I'd probably be the same (though I'm not sure, tbh four days with nothing to do but eat, sleep, and read sounds like pure heaven wink).

Protected mealtimes are fab, but I wish they could split the visiting hours instead - three hours in the afternoon, two hours in the evening, surely that's enough time for visiting!

Sparklingbrook Tue 14-Jul-15 15:05:57

The PatientLine TV is so ££££ I don't need visitors stopping me getting my money's worth. grin

YY to a couple of hours in the afternoon another couple in the evening being plenty. My friend had asked for no visitors but the lady in the next bed had a constant noisy stream of them and she got quite upset.

TheWomanTheyCallJayne Tue 14-Jul-15 15:10:30

I think it depends how long you're in for. By the end of the fourth week of being in I was bored rigid. Any entertainment would have been welcomed.

A day or two I would prefer the quiet break.

Theas18 Tue 14-Jul-15 15:28:24


Relatively well mumsnetters who have broken legs / elective surgery etc and are young ( ish) intelligent and vocal are an entirely different population to your average hospital resident.

We'd quite happily entertain outselves and make sure our needs were met.

When my mum was in hospital especially in the 2 month admission before she died I felt hugely guilty i couldn't be there for a couple of hours every day. I was entertainment ( sort of) and a vital advocate - filling in menus (she just got random things other days. They seemed to do the menu for her without asking ) encouraging food and drink ( thankfull not protected mealtimes - no none sat with her to just keep her on task- she could eat at least to start with so wasn't superivised - later I fed her because she had a few spoons naybe but then couldn't even grasp the stupid plastic teaspoons!) . She didn't have a shower till week 4 when my sister did it ( she is a trained midwife).

You really needed to be a member of a huge family when someone could be there to tend to your needs. It might take 20 mins to get wheeled on a commode to the loo sad

When mum was ok last year shed ring for help and ask for new squash to be made etc. But the last time she hadn't the energy ( or the physical voice ) to ask - especially as several times because other people seemed to have more pressing needs etc

cleanasawhistle Tue 14-Jul-15 15:34:04

I was recently in hospital for a week,visiting was 7pm-8pm and that was it.
My DH and kids came every evening but it meant there was no chance of seeing anyone else even if I had wanted too.

I wouldn't have wanted or expected anyone to sit with me all day....I had an afternoon nap everyday because it was so hard to sleep all night with the ward being busy.

BlackNoSugar Tue 14-Jul-15 15:48:53

Theas that sounds awful for you all sad

I think it's different if the person is seriously ill, or needs an advocate or someone to look after them.

Facepaintphobic Tue 14-Jul-15 16:06:06

Your own visitors are ok and useful to bring clean clothes on a longer stay and a decent cup of tea from the shop in the foyer you can't get to, however if they come too often / stay too long you run out of anything to say.
The hospital I stay at most now has guest wifi which is a godsend for letting people know how you are without them having to make heroic efforts to get in to see you.
Other peoples visitors are another matter. The ones with endless extended family, loads more than the bed limit, staying for bloody hours ...and all on the other side of the curtain while you are trying to use a commode, they make you cry.
I guess what I'm trying to say is yes to visitors, but small numbers, keep it short and large family gatherings only in the day room - please.

mrsleomcgary Tue 14-Jul-15 22:09:09

Any time I've been in hospital it's not been local,it's 25miles away so anyone visiting has arrived and stayed for the full hour. By the end of that hour I've been desperate for them to leave. It's lovely that they've made the effort to come visit but there's not much chat stuck in hospital. Some days no one has came and that's been fine,even in a ward I can usually sleep through visiting!

I think my local trust have now changed visiting from 2-8pm rather than 2 1hr blocks,having someone there for the whole 6 hours would be hellish.

gingeroots Wed 15-Jul-15 08:28:08

Depends ,doesn't it ? As pointed out up thread ,elderly patients need a huge amount of one to one care and it can be necessary for relatives to take this on and to spend hours at hospital .

On a personal note ,if you're visiting try and avoid occupying seats either side of the bed . If you're unwell it can be very wearing having to switch focus from one side to the other .

treadwater Wed 22-Jul-15 23:42:28

I wanted to have a quick visit for 20 mins max with each of my 4 C-sections but DH family sat there for hours saying to me - you should sleep whilst baby's sleeping! Did they leave and let me slap? NO!!! lol
Keep it short and sweet is my preference.

AtiaoftheJulii Wed 22-Jul-15 23:54:37

When my mum was recently in hospital - not very well at all, though not elderly - I tried to stay as long as I could because I just wanted to be with her. I worried less if I could see her! She was so weak that she mostly dozed, so I took a book and sat and read next to her for a couple of hours.

MidniteScribbler Fri 24-Jul-15 15:35:32

I'm on week five stuck in a hospital bed. I don't want any visitors, except for being able to see my son for a short visit and a cuddle. I'm feeling totally anti-social, and I really don't want people coming and sitting around. I'm sick of the same platitudes from visitors, and I'd rather they just left me alone. I'm also willing to accept that I'm a totally unsociable bitch right now and that I'm not particularly good company to be around.

gingeroots Fri 24-Jul-15 18:54:14

Aah Midnite - you're stuck in hospital for five weeks !. That's cr*p.
You're perfectly entitled to be sick of platitudes and generally fed up to the back teeth .

No wonder you're feeling antisocial . I would be the same .

flowers flowers for you .Hope you're out soon .

gingeroots Fri 24-Jul-15 18:55:14

or flowers flowers even

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