It may not be easy coming into the ICU. There are many unfamiliar sights, sounds and smells. The areas are active and often noisy with machines and alarms.
If your loved one needs a breathing machine (ventilator) they will be unable to speak. If they are awake, they will find it easier to respond to questions requiring a simple “yes or no” response. They may be strong enough to write notes to communicate or use an alphabet board to indicate letters and words. Try to be patient as this can be a frustrating time.
If they are unconscious, they may still be able to hear and feel. We encourage you to talk to them, hold their hand, or gently touch them. This may feel awkward at first. Your visit is important and can be meaningful for both of you.
In some cases you may notice that their behaviour may have changed due to their illness or medication. Your visit brings something familiar to them and adds to their recovery.