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Family and friends play an important role in helping people get through treatment. Most hospitals are flexible about visiting, but there may be some restrictions to the number of visitors.
When you arrive, speak with the nurse looking after your relative or friend before going into the room.
You’ll have to take certain precautions to make sure you don’t take in any infections. If you’re unsure about anything, ask the nurses or doctors. Here are some things you need to know:
You can still kiss, hug or hold your friend or relative’s hand and give comfort and support by being there. However, it’s important to follow the recommended precautions.
Be prepared that there will be times when your relative or friend won’t look or feel well. You don’t have to worry about keeping them entertained. It’s often enough just to sit with them.
They may not be able to cope with many visitors or with long visits. It can help if one person coordinates visiting so that it’s spread out. Sometimes they may not feel like seeing anyone because they’re just too tired. Don’t be upset or take it personally if you’re asked to miss a visit. If you can’t visit, you can phone or send a card.
If you’re worried about anything, you can always talk to the doctors and nurses on the unit or ward.
You may find our on how to talk to someone with cancer| helpful.
Content last reviewed: 1 December 2011
Next planned review: 2013
For answers, support or just a chat, call the Macmillan Support Line free (Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm)
If you have any questions about cancer, need support or just want someone to talk to, ask Macmillan.
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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