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    • zaksmum
    • By zaksmum 7th Mar 17, 11:42 PM
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    zaksmum
    neighbour in hospital refusing visits
    • #1
    • 7th Mar 17, 11:42 PM
    neighbour in hospital refusing visits 7th Mar 17 at 11:42 PM
    An elderly neighbour, who has no family, has been in hospital since early January. A few of us got together and spoke to her next door neighbour to say we'd like to visit when convenient for her.
    The response was, "she can't take it, she doesn't want anyone hassling her".
    We try to see her, shop for her etc when she's at home, despite her being far from friendly. But we hate the idea that she has no visitors week in, week out.
    This neighbour is the only one allowed to get close to her and she speaks in a sort of code to him
    Are we just wasting our time?
Page 2
    • -taff
    • By -taff 9th Mar 17, 7:50 AM
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    -taff
    We try to see her, shop for her etc when she's at home, despite her being far from friendly. But we hate the idea that she has no visitors week in, week out. ...
    Are we just wasting our time?
    Originally posted by zaksmum

    She doesn't want to see you, she's not appreciative of what you attempt to do for her, she may think you're being nosey and interefering.

    Yes, you're wasting your time, IMO, do as suggested above, send a card, make it clear you're thinking about her and would like ot help if she needs it in future, if you want to.
    • Art Deco
    • By Art Deco 9th Mar 17, 7:09 PM
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    Art Deco
    I agree that not every elderly person is seeking company, lots are very independant and enjoy a solitary life and this doesnt change when they become ill, send a card if you must,so they know you are thinking of them and call round if you feel the need when they return home but i wouldnt attempt to visit them in hospital also due to confidentiality issues dont ring the hospital enquiring about them .
    • tensandunits
    • By tensandunits 9th Mar 17, 8:22 PM
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    tensandunits
    It's interesting, reading all the replies here. My OH's father was in hospital for a few weeks before he died, and I kept saying to OH shall we go and visit your dad. His response was always: no, dad won't want us to see him like that. So we never went. He died in hospital and even now I can't help feeling a bit sad that he died all alone in hospital with nobody visiting him.
    • iwannanicerlife
    • By iwannanicerlife 10th Mar 17, 8:18 AM
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    iwannanicerlife
    A few years ago, a friend's partner was killed in a car crash. Her "best" friend contacted us all with the news and told us our friend did not want to speak to anybody and had asked that any contact was via the best friend. It turned out some time later that there had been no such request made and our friend felt that we were avoiding speaking to her.

    In your case I think I would send a card and my phone number to the hospital. It does sound likely that your neighbour probably doesn't want any contact but at least you would know that you had offered.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 10th Mar 17, 9:54 AM
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    hazyjo
    It's interesting, reading all the replies here. My OH's father was in hospital for a few weeks before he died, and I kept saying to OH shall we go and visit your dad. His response was always: no, dad won't want us to see him like that. So we never went. He died in hospital and even now I can't help feeling a bit sad that he died all alone in hospital with nobody visiting him.
    Originally posted by tensandunits
    Sounds like your OH was the one who actually didn't want to see his dad like that and he said it was the other way round.


    I remember a friend of mine having an op to remove a tumour. We went to see her (friends), but one of our group literally shut down - didn't ask about her, didn't visit, tried to put us off visiting... was quite strange. I suppose 'hospital' scares a lot of us and maybe it's a phobia we don't really know we have until a loved one is in.


    OP - definitely just send a card with your number and maybe a message like 'we'd love to visit so, if you're up to it, let us know and we'll pop along to see you'.


    My OH's son was in hospital for a week or so earlier this year and after the op, when we turned up he just burst into tears. I think people are at their most vulnerable, feel sorry for themselves, feel a burden, and feel guilty that you're all having to take time out of your day to sit in a hospital with them. It's often that people want to go, but as a patient it is very hard to accept visitors.
    2017 wins: Opera tickets; cinema tickets; lipstick; tickets, afternoon tea & bottle of Champagne at Ideal Home Show; 2 cases of NKD)
    • Torry Quine
    • By Torry Quine 10th Mar 17, 11:54 AM
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    Torry Quine
    It's interesting, reading all the replies here. My OH's father was in hospital for a few weeks before he died, and I kept saying to OH shall we go and visit your dad. His response was always: no, dad won't want us to see him like that. So we never went. He died in hospital and even now I can't help feeling a bit sad that he died all alone in hospital with nobody visiting him.
    Originally posted by tensandunits
    That's very different. Visiting a close relative is not the same as a neighbour
    Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance you must keep moving . Albert Einstein.

    I can bear pain myself, he said softly, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have -
    Diana Gabaldon, Outlander
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 10th Mar 17, 1:32 PM
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    cjdavies
    It's interesting, reading all the replies here. My OH's father was in hospital for a few weeks before he died, and I kept saying to OH shall we go and visit your dad. His response was always: no, dad won't want us to see him like that. So we never went. He died in hospital and even now I can't help feeling a bit sad that he died all alone in hospital with nobody visiting him.
    Originally posted by tensandunits


    Respect to your OH for listening to his Dad's wishes, wish more people did the same.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 10th Mar 17, 1:42 PM
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    Mojisola
    My OH's father was in hospital for a few weeks before he died, and I kept saying to OH shall we go and visit your dad.

    His response was always: no, dad won't want us to see him like that. So we never went. He died in hospital and even now I can't help feeling a bit sad that he died all alone in hospital with nobody visiting him.
    Originally posted by tensandunits
    Sounds like your OH was the one who actually didn't want to see his dad like that and he said it was the other way round.
    Originally posted by hazyjo
    Respect to your OH for listening to his Dad's wishes, wish more people did the same.
    Originally posted by cjdavies
    Unless it wasn't his wish.

    I can understand a relative not wanting to go the hospital - but to leave someone there with no visitors at all is really sad, especially if the person is in their last few days.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 10th Mar 17, 5:21 PM
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    hazyjo
    Unless it wasn't his wish.

    I can understand a relative not wanting to go the hospital - but to leave someone there with no visitors at all is really sad, especially if the person is in their last few days.
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    Oh God I totally agree! Especially if it's your parent (or your OH's parent)! But I still think you'd have to be very close to a neighbour to visit them in hospital. Our lovely old neighbour died in a nursing home and had been in hospital for a while before that, but we really didn't feel it appropriate to visit - we did send our best wishes, but it just didn't feel right to see her in bed in hospital. She had always been so proud and impeccably dressed. In her 80s with terminal cancer. Never saw her without perfect hair and makeup.


    She used to go on about not wanting a funeral and how she had told everyone not to come when she died and she just wanted a state cremation (or whatever it is) and nobody should pay. She was adamant - used to say it every time we saw her. Didn't want a fuss and was appalled that people would take time out of their day or weekend to attend as everyone lived all over the country. Sad really. Lovely lady. We used to visit her a lot at home.


    Jx
    2017 wins: Opera tickets; cinema tickets; lipstick; tickets, afternoon tea & bottle of Champagne at Ideal Home Show; 2 cases of NKD)
    • fierystormcloud
    • By fierystormcloud 10th Mar 17, 8:58 PM
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    fierystormcloud
    An elderly neighbour, who has no family, has been in hospital since early January. A few of us got together and spoke to her next door neighbour to say we'd like to visit when convenient for her.
    The response was, "she can't take it, she doesn't want anyone hassling her".
    We try to see her, shop for her etc when she's at home, despite her being far from friendly. But we hate the idea that she has no visitors week in, week out.
    This neighbour is the only one allowed to get close to her and she speaks in a sort of code to him
    Are we just wasting our time?
    Originally posted by zaksmum
    I wouldn't want loads of people turning up if I were trapped in my pyjamas in a hospital bed, either.
    Originally posted by Jojo the Tightfisted
    Same here! I hate seeing people when I am ill. If she has been in hospital since Jan she may have made friends with some other long-term patients.

    I think Anoneemoose's suggestion of a letter is a good one as she will know you are thinking of her. I would make it clear that you understand if she doesn't want visitors and tell her to let you know if that changes.
    Originally posted by Hermia
    I have to agree. I can't be doing with people around me when I'm ill. I know the OP probably means well, but if it were me, I would find it very annoying.
    cooeeeeeeeee
    • Spirit
    • By Spirit 10th Mar 17, 9:50 PM
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    Spirit
    I have had several longish spells in hospital. In addition to my immediate family, friends, colleagues and neighbours have all visited. On one spell it was post stroke and I was very incapacitated. It helped with my return home that so many people were prepared for how I was effected and the scale of rehabilitation and long term help I would need. It did mean that folk saw me in a poor state but helped motivate me to get dressed every day and there were many people to participate in massaging my hand, reading to me,helping do my hair, bring me home made meals. On balance it did me more good than harm to keep engaged with a wider world and built/reinforced the support network I and my family have needed to see us through the last couple of years.

    If no one is visiting how are they getting washing done? Supplies of toiletries and the consumables you need as a longer term inpatient beyond the nhs provision.

    Well done OP for your kindness, as suggested by others do follow up, I would also say pop in. Do not plan to stay unless it i s clear they want you to. Ask them if they would like you call in again. Take a card and tissues and cordial/squash.
    • Hermia
    • By Hermia 11th Mar 17, 1:04 AM
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    Hermia
    Unless it wasn't his wish.

    I can understand a relative not wanting to go the hospital - but to leave someone there with no visitors at all is really sad, especially if the person is in their last few days.
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    Everyone I know who died in hospital was either semi-conscious in their last days or feeling waaayyy too sick for visitors. I know four people who died of cancer who were very adamant there were to be no visitors at the end and made sure the hospice/hospital staff sent people away. The hospice nurse I spoke to said she often feels like a bouncer because it is such a common request.

    The thing is the OP said this neighbour doesn't seem particularly friendly or grateful normally so I really think a card it all that is necessary.
    • ripplyuk
    • By ripplyuk 11th Mar 17, 10:31 AM
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    ripplyuk
    Never mind neighbours or friends, I wouldn't even want my mum or my partner visiting me in hospital. There's nothing worse than having to 'entertain' people and keep up the chat with them, when you're feeling awful and in a lot of pain. I think it's selfish of people to expect that. And it does seem like a lot of the time, these visits are more to make the visitor feel better about themselves rather than the patient.

    OP, I'd do as suggested earlier. Send a card with your phone number. Let them know you're thinking of them.
    • Torry Quine
    • By Torry Quine 11th Mar 17, 1:36 PM
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    Torry Quine
    It does surprise me that some people wouldn't want their closest relatives to visit them. It could be seen as selfish by the patient not to
    Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance you must keep moving . Albert Einstein.

    I can bear pain myself, he said softly, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have -
    Diana Gabaldon, Outlander
    • elsien
    • By elsien 11th Mar 17, 1:48 PM
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    elsien
    Oh God I totally agree! Especially if it's your parent (or your OH's parent)! But I still think you'd have to be very close to a neighbour to visit them in hospital. Our lovely old neighbour died in a nursing home and had been in hospital for a while before that, but we really didn't feel it appropriate to visit - we did send our best wishes, but it just didn't feel right to see her in bed in hospital. She had always been so proud and impeccably dressed. In her 80s with terminal cancer. Never saw her without perfect hair and makeup.


    She used to go on about not wanting a funeral and how she had told everyone not to come when she died and she just wanted a state cremation (or whatever it is) and nobody should pay. She was adamant - used to say it every time we saw her. Didn't want a fuss and was appalled that people would take time out of their day or weekend to attend as everyone lived all over the country. Sad really. Lovely lady. We used to visit her a lot at home.


    Jx
    Originally posted by hazyjo
    My grandmother was similar in regards to not wanting a fuss and saying she was going to ban everyone from her funeral. She tried to clean the house once while waiting for an ambulance so they wouldn't think she was a dirty person.
    However she welcomed visitors both in hospital and in the nursing home until she died. She was bored witless most of the time and was happy to see anyone if it broke the tedium.
    I asked her once how she felt about people seeing her stuck in bed and needing to be hoisted for personal care etc. Ever pragmatic, she was of the opinion that she'd lost her home and her dignity, there was nothing she could do about it, so anything that made the days go more quickly was fine by her - the more the merrier.

    I guess it's about finding ways to check what the person wants rather than presuming. Because sometimes they change their view when they're in the situation.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • Jojo the Tightfisted
    • By Jojo the Tightfisted 11th Mar 17, 3:10 PM
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    Jojo the Tightfisted
    It does surprise me that some people wouldn't want their closest relatives to visit them. It could be seen as selfish by the patient not to
    Originally posted by Torry Quine
    Surely if they're ill enough to be in hospital, they're entitled to be as selfish as they like, rather than making other people feel better about themselves? It's one time when it IS all about the person in the hospital bed.



    When I had Offspring #1, all I wanted was a nice evening in hospital with the OH and our new baby before having visitors the following day (I knew I was going to be in there for a week). Instead of which, we were haunted by his sister for five hours. I was in considerable pain post op, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't have pain killing medication because it would have meant I was non compos mentis when she was there, she just kept talking about her job in a supermarket, the other people there, people she used to know, how long would it take for me to get rid of the baby fat and my figure back, I shouldn't have a recommended blood transfusion because I'd get AIDS and die, and he couldn't spend the time holding his new baby. The following morning, Offspring #1 ended up going into an incubator right up until the moment of discharge. so I never, ever got a minute alone with her and her father. Or that blood transfusion, as they said it was wasn't compulsory, it was a borderline case and they'd run out of O Rh- due to an emergency admission that second morning.

    She still copped a strop when she was told at 11pm that she had to go. Which was the same point at which my OH was told to leave, I was exhausted, still in pain and then had to stay awake with my newborn when, had she actually not been a self centred cow, I could have had pain relief, got some sleep whilst OH was still there and not felt so bloody ill for months afterwards.

    But she got the bragging rights with her colleagues that she was the only person to come and see the baby on the day it was born. Because not wanting her (or anybody else, including parents) to turn up made me selfish?



    The patient decides. Not relatives, not friends, not random neighbours. In all cases.
    I could dream to wide extremes, I could do or die: I could yawn and be withdrawn and watch the world go by.

    Yup you are officially Rock n Roll
    Originally posted by colinw
    • Torry Quine
    • By Torry Quine 11th Mar 17, 3:36 PM
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    Torry Quine
    Surely if they're ill enough to be in hospital, they're entitled to be as selfish as they like, rather than making other people feel better about themselves? It's one time when it IS all about the person in the hospital bed.



    When I had Offspring #1, all I wanted was a nice evening in hospital with the OH and our new baby before having visitors the following day (I knew I was going to be in there for a week). Instead of which, we were haunted by his sister for five hours. I was in considerable pain post op, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't have pain killing medication because it would have meant I was non compos mentis when she was there, she just kept talking about her job in a supermarket, the other people there, people she used to know, how long would it take for me to get rid of the baby fat and my figure back, I shouldn't have a recommended blood transfusion because I'd get AIDS and die, and he couldn't spend the time holding his new baby. The following morning, Offspring #1 ended up going into an incubator right up until the moment of discharge. so I never, ever got a minute alone with her and her father. Or that blood transfusion, as they said it was wasn't compulsory, it was a borderline case and they'd run out of O Rh- due to an emergency admission that second morning.

    She still copped a strop when she was told at 11pm that she had to go. Which was the same point at which my OH was told to leave, I was exhausted, still in pain and then had to stay awake with my newborn when, had she actually not been a self centred cow, I could have had pain relief, got some sleep whilst OH was still there and not felt so bloody ill for months afterwards.

    But she got the bragging rights with her colleagues that she was the only person to come and see the baby on the day it was born. Because not wanting her (or anybody else, including parents) to turn up made me selfish?



    The patient decides. Not relatives, not friends, not random neighbours. In all cases.
    Originally posted by Jojo the Tightfisted
    His sister was very wrong.

    If for instance someone is not expected to recover then not letting close relatives visit could be stopping them saying their goodbyes. It is however an individual decision and depends a lot on how the relationship is
    Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance you must keep moving . Albert Einstein.

    I can bear pain myself, he said softly, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have -
    Diana Gabaldon, Outlander
    • Katgrit
    • By Katgrit 12th Mar 17, 12:55 PM
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    Katgrit
    IMHO I'd check directly with the ward. The go-between neighbour may not be giving you an accurate version of events.

    My Grandad went into hospital in the early hours last weekend. My Nan is very upset that the Neighbours haven't been over to see how he is, and as she's in her 90's she upset they haven't checked on her either, to see how she's been managing on her own. (Shes blind, so can't get round to their front door unaided to uodate them herself).

    Nan was so upset she had told us we weren't allowed to inform the Neighbours of Grandads improvements as "They don't deserve to know". Not wanting their 30 year friendship to crumble I nipped over to chat. Turns out that My bloomin Mother had been over to tell them Nan was getting stressed making the house decent for visitors, and hence they'd been worried about adding to this stress and had decided best not to bother her. As they work full time they also worry very much about going across after dark as they don't think it's safe for a blind 90yr old to be answering her door to possible unknowns. Nan point of view = why are the Neighbours suddenly being so uncaring? Neighbours point of view = We've been told not to bother her.Misunderstandings are responsible for so much bad feeling!

    Nan has also been telling us not to visit Grandad. Because she feels its a chore for us to be sat bored and feeling awkward round the bed of someone so poorly (when there's nowhere else we'd rather be when our lovely Grandad is so ill) and because it costs too much for parking! Shes just too polite and decent to ever consider putting someone else out by expecting them to visit.

    I'd be tempted to pop along at visiting time with a card, bag of chocolate buttons, little tube of posh hand cream or something else she might find useful, and ask the nurses to hand them over. That way at least she'll know you care. She sounds quite isolated regardless of her stay in hospital so go-between Neighbour may have made out that's she's the only one that can be trusted. It just sounds a bit odd to me.
    Last edited by Katgrit; 12-03-2017 at 12:59 PM.
    • susan1
    • By susan1 12th Mar 17, 1:34 PM
    • 302 Posts
    • 329 Thanks
    susan1
    Being totally cynical is there money involved. Is the person saying stay away being truthful.
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