Many things are quite different between US and Russia. But one of those constant things is hospital’s visitation restrictions. While I understand the need for cleanliness and orderly visits, and special cases where any external contact could gravely endanger one’s life, I don’t understand why hospitals always restrict the hours. And limit the right to visit a patient to “relatives or a spouse”.
As long as patient is in his or her own mind, let them choose. A best friend, or a co-worker, or a roommate would be just fine. Someone to cheer sick person up, help, talk, pay attention. Hospitals should be all over the idea of expanded hours and visitation rights — less need for a nurse, better morale.
Plus, giving the patient right to choose who gets to visit, they would limit annoyances of overbearing relatives. You know, for those grandmas, that just wait for the chance to tell you how they kept warning you about the perils of the whole wide world, and yet you ventured in there anyways, took the risk, and here you are, at the hospital, practically chained to bed, but it’s such a good thing that blood relatives can visit no matter what.
This also would solve the problem of elderly loneliness. While grandmas have a tendency of flocking together and living as roommates along with about a dozen or so cats, they are not relatives and not married (well, not in most states). So, give them the right to support each other. And watch patient’s health improve…