The Presence of Family Enhances In-Patient Care

Man in a hospital bed with wife and nurse

Family involvement in the care of hospitalized patients could help with the latter’s fast recovery and overall well-being. Although there’s a limited number of accessible research literature that investigates the contributions families give to patients in hospital settings, some studies still acknowledged the value of having family members involved in hospital care.

  • In 2012, a study on the correlation between hospital room design and in-patient falls found that rooms with a designated family area had half as many falls as rooms without a family area.
  • A 2016 meta-analysis found that out of 11 studies about the impact of family involvement in adult care wards, seven reported improvements in patient outcomes.

The literature reviews of these studies indicate that having family members visit or stay at the hospital could be beneficial for patients. The Journal of Hospital Administration recently evaluated case studies and systematic reviews that studied the effect of flexible visiting hours on the recovery of hospital patients. Their findings revealed that family and close friends give patients emotional support and their presence could help patients recover faster.

Family Presence Boosts Patient Morale

Family can help keep patients from having worrisome thoughts all the time and distract them instead with enjoyable activities. Companions could provide stimulating conversation or be a soundboard for patients whenever they feel like talking about anything, from their health condition to more mundane topics.

Moreover, a strong support system could get patients to play simple but fun games, giving the latter other forms of entertainment aside from watching TV. Lastly, the very presence of family helps keep a patient’s spirits up. These are the qualities of patient- and family-centered healthcare which finds ideal for hospital patients.

Supplementary Supervision

Patients benefit when their parents and guardians take a more proactive role in their hospital care. In the case of sick children and pregnant women about to give birth, family members can help ensure they take their medications on time, eat the right food, and perform minor, doctor-recommended medical assistance.

The family is also a good source of information on a patient’s medical history. They can talk to doctors and nurses and provide the necessary information, especially if the patient isn’t in a condition to speak or fill out forms.

There’s so much that family can do to help patients recover fast. Many hospitals in the US have strict visitation rules, so it’s best for patients to stay in a hospital where they have family members nearby.