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Family and Relatives

Family and Relatives

Being a patient in hospital can be stressful, but is can be similarly stressful for the family and relatives. Everyone worries and sometimes that can become a problem when anxiety is rising and not alleviated.
You and the healthcare team are working together and they need your help and co-operation too. You can help with caring for your relative by:

  • Making sure that your relative wants you to know about your care- sometimes patients feel that they don’t want every member of the family knowing their most intimate details; information is confidential and the staff are not able to talk to every member in the family, the patient has to agree to whom the information is given.

  • Nominate one close relative to be the link to the rest of the family.

  • Give your nurse the name and telephone number of the person who will be the link for the rest of the family to contact re:  daily progress.

  • Visiting- it might be a good idea to check around the family to see who is visiting and when – it is less tiring to have a couple of people for a short time than having a crowd.

  • Some wards do restrict the amount of visitors to each patient; as it can be overwhelming for the other patients on the ward.

  • Discuss visiting arrangements with your nurse who is responsible for your care.

  • Your nurse will know when the doctor will be visiting the ward for their ward round so you will be able to talk to the doctor if you wish to.

  • If your relative needs an interpreter and you are usually the person who does this please let the staff know your contact details and times when you are available to be contacted.

  • If you have specific concerns about your relative and have been unable to meet with the doctor during the ward rounds ask the staff to see if the doctor can give you a call at a mutually convenient time

  • If a consent form needs to be signed it is a good idea to look at our check list to make sure you are completely happy to sign  Click here for more information about Consent forms

  • It can be useful if you have a record of all the medicines that your relative has been taking; prescribed as well as over the counter, vitamins and herbal supplements. Click here for more information on medicines 

If your relative has special needs, learning difficulties or dementia you can be a huge help when you advise the staff how they are used to being looked after, and how they like things being done; if there are routines that they like to follow. You could write a short bullet pointed note of  details of their normal routines including whether they need reminders or support with washing, dressing, going to the toilet, eating and drinking. It is best if being in hospital disturbs routines as little as possible and with your assistance this can be achieved.

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