(Seems obvious, doesn't it)
"Hugs" and "Love You"--two expressions generously shared these days.They make us feel valued, nurture our souls, support emotional and physical well being. They're exchanged countless times by friends and family in our younger years, lessening in old age, and problematical for hospitalized elders and those who love them, especially at life's end.
Hospitalization makes hugs and personal sharing tricky. Aides come in to draw a drop of blood and take temperatures numerous times daily. Physical barriers exist between us and the person in bed. IV poles, monitors, drips, lines, tray tables, night stands--and those bed rails--defy making easy physical contact....unless one has super-long arms or is a contortionist. Hospital regulations, loss of privacy and constant interruptions interfere with that special, loving connection we ideally want with our love ones. And touching is a powerful part.
I'd forgotten how hard it was to give my mother a hug when her small body lay in that wide bed with bed rails up to keep her safe. I forgot how ludicrous I thought it was when elderly people are so weak they need help to turn over, yet have bed's rails blocking access.
Here's the recipe to combat that isolation and bring some normalcy and love into the equation: