As Hospitals Stays Become Inevitable, Internet Access Become A Necessity
Mom was in the hospital for four days (Monday-Thursday) last week. During Wednesday and Thursday, her alertness returned - and with it came some agitation as to the new surroundings.
Mom is weak enough that she cannot get out of bed in order to roam (which she had done previously), but she still could have picked at her bandages or at her IV (which, luckily, she didn't do this time). As Mom became increasingly alert, I went to the nurse's station to ask whether there was an Internet connection available in the hospital room so I could stay with Mom for longer stretches of time. The answer, unfortunately, was no.
If an Internet connection had been available, I could have brought my laptop to do work while sitting in Mom's room. But instead, I had to decide whether to stay at the hospital with Mom or to go to work in order to pay my bills. Finances won out this time, although I tried to visit Mom for a couple of hours during the day (and Dad tried to go over for awhile when I wasn't there).
Mom's hospital stay made me realize that providing Internet service in hospital rooms would be very beneficial for everyone involved. Mom would have had someone she knew in the room with her to visit with her, calm her anxiety, feed her, and make sure she didn't mess with the medical equipment (like IVs). I would have been able to stay with Mom and still do my work. And the hospital staff would have had someone who Mom knew in the room with her.
The hospital provided the family members with coffee and soft drinks (as well as the patient with wonderful medical care and a television in the room). In retrospect, as more and more patients have dementia, I think that hospitals would benefit from providing Internet services in the patient's room in order to enable caregivers to not only take care of their loved one, but also their paying job.