Sometimes, in life, we have situations where a loved one finds themselves in trouble. Some end up in jail because of their mistake, some in rehab, and unfortunately, some spend a great deal of time in the hospital due to their errors. They are our family. They still need us probably now more than ever and not just the adults in the house.
Seeing and spending time with the children in our family can often be the boost a father in prison needs to change his ways, or the motivation for a mother to get sober, or the laugh that an uncle in ICU needed to promote quicker healing in his body. However, our loved ones don’t always find themselves detained just down the street from us. Here are a few tips for how you can prepare to visit them while they are away.
A Loved One in Prison
For the sake of the article, let’s say Dad found himself in trouble and that trouble landed him in jail two states away from his family. He’s going to be there a while. You want to visit. Prepare you and your children the way you always would for a trip of this magnitude. Make sure there are plenty of snacks and potty breaks and that you bring things along to keep the kids occupied.
There are some extra things you want to do before you leave, though. Call the facility your loved one is in and ask about the visitation rules. Almost all correctional facilities require you to be on an approved visitation list before you can enter. Make sure that you have packed modest clothing for the visit and that you leave anything that could be considered a weapon in your car or at the hotel where you are staying. Have a discussion with your children of what to expect so that they are not totally lost in the experience and always respect the authority at the facility.
Visiting A Loved One In Rehab
Sometimes, we learn that a family member has incurred an addiction. Whether it be to drugs or alcohol, they still need the support of their family. Some rehabilitation centers have an inpatient program that allows and encourages family visitation. Again, make sure that your usual travel bases are covered, then call the rehab and ask for a detailed list of the rules and regulations concerning visitation.
Find out how long you can stay so that you can plan accordingly. It may be that you only have enough time to say hellos and give short updates or you may be able to stay and have lunch. Check and see if you can take your loved one off campus. It may be that you and the kids can take Mom to a movie. The time together will be cherished.
Going to See Your Family in the Hospital
Unfortunately, life can throw us some pretty harsh curve balls and occasionally they land us in the hospital. There is nothing like a visit from your family while you are stuck in a hospital bed. Any doctor will tell you laughter is the best medicine and sitting around spending time with your loved ones is bound to produce, at the very least, a smile. Visiting someone in the hospital can be a little trickier, in some ways, than the previous endeavors.
Always check ahead of time with the nursing staff about visitation hours and protocol. Some places won’t allow children under a certain age to visit, especially in an ICU. Make sure you are healthy and that your children understand that a hospital is not a playground. There are many sick and injured patients and many are trying to rest.
Visiting your family is always a blessing. Don’t allow where they are to hinder the bond between you, your children, and them. Use these tips to help you along the way.