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Caring for a Family Member in the Hospital

Visiting Hours

Visitors are welcomed any time of day at the hospital. When visiting, an attendant at the information desk near the main entrance will direct you to the location of the patient’s room.


Communication is a very important aspect of your experience at the hospital. Doctors, nurses and other caregivers will be meeting with you to talk about a patient’s status, directions for care, activity restrictions during recovery, medication instructions and much more. Family members are there for care, comfort and to ensure their loved one receives the best care.

Caring for a Family Member in the Hospital

Here are some suggestions to optimize your hospital experience:

  • Bring a notebook to take important notes such as discharge instructions. The information retained in notes can be used to recall important discussions. Write down outstanding questions you have in your notebook to make certain they get addressed.
  • If the caregiver is using medical jargon or is not clearly stating information, please ask that person to go over the information again
  • Paraphrase or restate the important points of the conversation to make certain that you correctly understood the conversation.
  • If you feel that you are having difficulty communicating with certain members of the staff, speak to the doctor, nurse, chaplaincy or another representative within the hospital about your experience.
  • Wanting what is best for your family member is natural. If you have concerns about your family member being released from the hospital before they are ready, or their ability to be cared for at home – bring this up with the doctor.
  • You may encounter delays in tests or procedures. This often happens when hospitals are busy. Your best course of action is to remain patient and speak to the nurse and ask for an updated timeframe.

Taking Care of Yourself

When a loved one is in the hospital, it is easy to lose sight of taking care of yourself. You need to be certain to get enough sleep and eat when appropriate. You are an important part of the hospital experience and you will be an important person in their recovery.