Baby Boomers Caring for Mom and Dad During Hospital Visits

by Anne Holmes on October 29, 2009

Dad experienced another hospital visit. The doctor said he needed IV antibiotics for an infection. Dad was exhausted so he was also hospitalized to get some rest. What a joke.

I am not a complainer. I look on the bright side and am very optimistic. I inherited that from Dad. However, I’m here to complain.

When Dad’s in the hospital, my four siblings, all baby boomers, and I try hard to make sure someone is always with him. We even spend the night. This particular afternoon was my turn. He was exhausted and wanted to sleep. My job was to quietly sit at the foot of his bed and ward off as much noise as possible.

Again, what a joke. How do you keep the following list of interruptions from happening? This took place within a two hour period. I kid you not.

  • Another person’s visitor stood outside his door on her cell phone discussing her 14 year-old’s school performance in her outside voice.
  • His nurse came in to give him a new medication.
  • Phlebotomists rapped fist on door and marched in to draw blood.
  • Tech came banging to introduce himself. “I’m your afternoon tech.”
  • Gal banged, entered, and asked in her outside voice, “Is he finished with his tray. I’ll take it for him.”
  • Tech enters again stating, “There it is.” He’d left his clipboard in the room.
  • New roommate brought in on rolling bed.
  • The nurse for the new patient comes in and introduces herself.
  • The wife and daughter of new patient traipse through saying “hi” as they pass Dad’s bed.
  • The tech arrives with the nurse of new patient and discuss his care with his wife and daughter in their outside voices.
  • Roommate turns on his loud TV and begins changing channels.
  • Roommate buzzes nurse twice by accident and both times the nurse booms through, “May I help you?”
  • Gal comes in to check Dad’s blood pressure and temperature.
  • Dad’s IV tower begins beeping because his medicine is empty.
  • We waited one half hour before someone came and turned it off.

After the third interruption, I began taking notes because I couldn’t believe it. The above is taken directly from my notes. So I ask, how is someone to get rest while hospitalized? Please share how I could have barred the door. Also feel free to share your hospital gripes. You can also join the conversation about eldercare at this link.

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