I began to think about this article a couple of days ago. Working in a UK hospital, albeit in an administration role, means that I often see the sad side of life. Sure, there are always some heart warming stories of hope but there can be so much sorrow also.
In general Hospital wards aim to discharge as many patients as possible home for Christmas, even if only temporarily. This is better for the patients and their families, usually. The elderly though area a quite different kettle of fish.
Some elderly inpatients actually find themselves admitted to hospital, simply because they are an inconvenience to the family's Christmas festivities. Those that are already in hospital may have few surviving relatives to actually spend Christmas with and be discharged home to. For such patients, hospital over the Christmas period may be a blessing in disguise.
People are, on the whole, more charitable during Christmas and children's hospital wards are often inundated with gifts and special visitors. Local football teams, and the like, will visit the children's wards bearing gifts and laughter. This is much needed and truly appreciated but what about the elderly?
These individuals are often the forgotten needy of Christmas. They do not hold the same attraction to celebrity visitors as babies and children. However they desperately need those extra visitors.
It is a sad fact of life that we will all age, unless we die young. Not much of an alternative then, is there? As we age. we often find that our loved ones are scattered around the globe or have already departed this life. Finances are usually tight and there is often little opportunity for pure enjoyment.
With all of this in mind, consider then just how beneficial extra visitors would be to elderly hospital inpatients. In these politically correct days, of course such plans would need to be passed as acceptable by the hospital trust. However, as long as the visitors are there for the right reasons, people who may feel forgotten and neglected, could receive much needed Christmas cheer.
Now that you have read this brief article consider what you may want, or be able, to do for those elderly people who will spend Christmas in hospital. Perhaps if you were to contact your local hospital you may be able to find out what would be acceptable and what would not.
Surely it is worth a try as, who knows, when it may be you or I in this position?
After all, Christmas may generally be thought to be all about children, but it is also about helping those more vulnerable and less fortunate than ourselves.