Professional Patient Tip: 10 Tips for Visiting Someone Who is Sick

 

I have unfortunately been on both sides of this article. I have spent time visiting friends and family when they have been sick, but I have more often been the patient everyone is visiting. Many of the visits went very well, but unfortunately others didn’t go so well for them or me. Hopefully my mistakes or my tips from experience will help you.


Visiting someone who is sick isn’t always easy, but it can be an enjoyable time and it should primarily be a comfort for the patient. Many family members and friends find it difficult to visit someone who is sick. If the person is in the hospital, it may be more difficult for some to visit because of past negative experiences they have had at a hospital. Many visitors are anxious or find it stressful to be around a patient because they are dealing with their own fears of sickness. It is natural to hesitate in seeing someone you love or care about, who is in pain or seriously ill. Unfortunately, many people end up not visiting, because they do not know what to do or say to help.

Most patients I have spoken to just want the company. They want to feel loved and thought about. They do not want to be forgotten, though they might be out of the “social loop”.
I know when I was sick and had visitors it was a welcome distraction from the reality of what was going on. It was nice to at least try to forget and feel “normal” even for only a short time.
When visiting someone who is sick, here are some suggestions that may help both the visitor and the patient.
1. Before visiting the patient, phone ahead to let him or her know you are coming. That is just plain common sense. Your friend or loved one will appreciate you finding out a convenient time to visit. Some times a patient has had too many visitors, has gone through painful treatments or just needs to nap. If the person is sick at home and being cared for by a caregiver, knowing when you are coming may give that person a chance to run errands or plan for some personal time alone. At least it will give them a chance to tidy up the room or help the patient get ready for your visit. I know I have wished people had called first when I was receiving visitors, because I might not have been dressed appropriately and a robe or change of clothes would have made me more comfortable, etc.
The simple act of a phone call creates the anticipation of a visit, something to look forward to. Calling in advance also puts the patient in charge. Being sick often results in a forced passivity. When you phone and ask if it is all right to visit, the patient is able to exercise some control in whether they feel up to visitors at that time.
2. Do your research. If the person you are visiting is in a hospital or rehab facility, then call ahead to see when visiting hours are. Ask if there are any other restrictions. Some facilities do not allow children or pets. Find out if it is all right for the patient to receive flowers or food of any kind. You do not want to bring your friend’s favorite brand of chocolate, only to find out that they are on a special diet and can not eat it right now. Inquire as to what you are allowed to bring. Can the patient eat food brought in from the outside? Can she have flowers etc? Some patients are very sensitive to perfumes or smells, so check if this is the case and leave those types of things at home. The most important point here is to ask questions.
3. Don’t plan on a long visit. Hospital patients have a busy schedule and sick people often tire easily. It is better to visit briefly but more often, than to visit once for a long time. When the patient tires, leave courteously with a promise to return another time or to call. Stay long enough to put a smile on their face, but not too long as to see their smile tire. Most people would rather have many visits, then one long dragged out one.
This should also help to put the visitor at ease. If you plan on a short visit, you do not need to worry about what to say or how to “fill up” time. A 15-20 minute visit is just long enough to say hello, catch up, help out and leave. You can play a game for 20 minutes, or take a walk. Stay as long as the patient wants.
4. Bring the patient a small gift. This is not about money spent- the gift can be something you made, like a card. Let’s face facts, we all like receiving gifts, especially when we are not feeling our best. A newspaper or magazine can reinforce a sense of connection to the outside world. Besides being pretty- flowers, plants or cards leave tangible evidence of the visit. I remember when I was in the hospital I spent hours looking at my “wall of cards” and reminisced about who came to visit me. It always brought a smile to my face, even if it was days after the person left.
Bring something that can be a distraction after you have left. Crossword puzzle books, reading books, even lotto scratch off’s. Anything that they can easily do on their own. Many places do not allow visitors after certain hours, so your gift will help with the boredom at night and be a welcome relief.
Bring something that will help make the experience nicer. Blankets, new pajamas, slippers, new lotions, soaps, or a soft pillow can make the time spent in bed for a patient more enjoyable. Gifts like these will be much appreciated.
Ask nurses or caregivers if it is ok to give the patient food or treats. Bring the patient their favorite candy or snack. If they are having appetite trouble maybe a gift of their favorite food might help.
5. Have Fun. Bring an activity with you. Sometimes we learn the most about someone while doing something together. It takes the pressure off coming up with conversation, while providing a non-threatening atmosphere. The focus becomes the activity and not the person and their disability and that is refreshing. It could be a board game, craft activity, movie, or even food. If the individual has a computer, you could surf the net for helpful resources or community services. Bring the newspaper and talk about current events. Give her a manicure or fix her hair. Bring a friend or children to visit. Be creative.
Some of my best memories in the hospital were when my mom played Scrabble with me all night until I fell asleep. It was great to get my mind of being sick and it also was a great way for us to pass the time.
6. When visiting, help with concrete tasks. After getting the sick person’s consent; help by straightening the bed, watering plants, straightening up the room, or any other chore that helps the patient or makes their surroundings look well attended.
It also might be helpful to offer to do things in the “outside” world for the patient. When we are sick, we do not have the energy, ability or time to do simple things, but quite often those are the very things we worry about not getting done. Picking up mail, helping go through bills, watering the lawn, or even cooking meals, can truly make someone’s day. What might seem like an easy task for you can really help someone who is too sick to do these things for themselves or their own family.
It is very hard not to be able to do for yourself. Many times when I am not feeling well, I might be too embarrassed to ask for help, but I am very happy to accept it when it is offered.
7. Don’t be afraid to sit in silence. As with any situation where we are trying to bring comfort and friendship to someone who is suffering, the primary statement we can make is not through any words we speak, but through our presence. Do not force conversation, but let it come naturally. Fight the need to fill up every bit of silence. Just being a good friend and making the effort to be there is enough.
If you can’t think of anything to talk about, feel free to simply say, I love you, I care and I am here for you if you need me. Those few simple words will mean more to the person then you will ever know, and will definitely be better then making up chatter.
8. Help the Helper. Besides being the patient, there is nothing harder then being the primary caregiver. Most times these are the people that are right there with the patient, often both day and night. The caregiver has the daunting task of trying to juggle the life outside and the life with the person who is sick. Usually they are going on little or no sleep and are filled with worry and concern for the one they love, while trying to show a strong face. Ask if you can help them in any way also. Offer to baby-sit kids, even for a ½ hour, make dinner, or offer to order in, ask if they want you to go get a rental movie or if you can sit and talk with the patient while they shower or make phone calls, etc.
9. Prepare for when they come home. Depending on how long the patient is in the hospital, or depending how long the person has been sick, it might be hard to get back into the swing of a normal daily routine. Offer to help with laundry or help clean or dust so they come home to a less stale smelling place. Help clean out the fridge, or maybe help re-stock it before they get home. Open the windows and let some fresh air in. If they need help now to do things, offer to drive them to the store or doctor’s appointments. It is the little things that go a long way to make the patient feel back at home.

10. Do not forget about them the second they get better. Being sick gives you many different types of attention, whether you like it or not and the fact is that it can be very lonely when it all goes away. I have heard from many patients that the worst thing about being sick is when they started to feel better! That is when they were alone with no one offering to help or to lift their spirits. Still make visits, send cards or offer to help for the next few weeks during this transitional time. They might not need the same things, and it might not feel as “urgent” but still visit. They need to feel loved now too. They need the strength to continue to feel better.
Do Something! All the tips listed above are to help you, but they are not “rules”. Do what your heart tells you to do. Do what you feel is best. It is never too late and no gesture is ever too small. If it is from you then it is just right. Do not let your fear, anxiety or busy schedule stop you from being there for someone who could really use it, and will appreciate it
The worst thing you can do for someone who is sick is nothing.


Written by Christine Miserandino Butyoudontlooksick.com

©2022butyoudontlooksick.com
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  • Simmons Flora

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  • Miller Moore

    OMG!! This is certainly a shocking and a genuine Testimony..I visited a forum here on the internet on the 20TH OF JUNE 2014, And i saw a marvelous testimony of this powerful and great spell caster called DR OSAUYI on the forum..I never believed it, because i never heard nor learnt anything about magic before.. Not a soul would have been able to influence me about magical spells, not until DR OSAUYI did it for me and restored my marriage of 8 years back to me and brought my spouse back to me in the same 24 hours just as i read on the internet..i was truly astonished and shocked when my husband knelt down begging for forgiveness and for me to accept him back.. I am really short of expressions, and i don’t know how much to convey my appreciation to you DR OSAUYI you are a God sent to me and my entire family.. And now i am a joyful woman once again.. here is his website: Email:([email protected]) Mrs Miller Moore from England City.http://osauyilovespell.webs.com..

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  • Francisca luis

    My name is lius Francisca, and I base in U.S.A…My life is back!!! After 2 years of Broken marriage, my husband left me with two kids . I felt like my life was about to end i almost committed suicide, i was emotionally down for a very long time. Thanks to a spell caster called Dr Jatto, which i met online. On one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet,I came across allot of testimonies about this particular spell caster. Some people testified that he brought their Ex lover back, some testified that he restores womb,cure cancer,and other sickness, some testified that he can cast a spell to stop divorce and so on. i also come across one particular testimony,it was about a woman called Lydia,she testified about how he brought back her Ex lover in less than 2 days, and at the end of her testimony she dropped Dr Jatto E-mail address. After reading all these,I decided to give it a try. I contacted him VIA Email and explained my problem to him. In just 48hours, my husband came back to me. We solved our issues, and we are even happier than before Dr Jatto, is really a gifted man and i will not stop publishing him because he is a wonderful man… If you have a problem and you are looking for a real and genuine spell caster to solve all your problems for you. Try [email protected] anytime, he might be the answer to your problems. Here’s his Email [email protected] OR CALL +2349035512062.

    1. GETTING YOUR EX BACK
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    6. JOB PROMOTION.
    7. MONEY SPELL.
    8. SPIRITUAL PROTECTION.
    9. HERBAL CARE.
    10. BEAUTY SPELL

  • Rita Smith

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    end, and i almost committed suicide, i was emotionally down for a very
    long time, but thanks to this spell caster called Dr. Telemi whom i met
    online after my friend Tracy James told me how he also helped her to
    bring back her husband in less than 2 days. I believed her and decided
    to give Dr. Telemi a try and i contacted him on his email [email protected]
    and explained my problems to him. He laughed and told me that In less
    than 2 days, my Husband will come back for me again, and that he will
    restore my womb and i will give birth to children. At first i thought it
    was a lie but i took courage and believed as Dr. Telemi has said and it
    did happen just as this Great spell caster said, My husband called me
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    looking for a real and genuine spell caster to solve all your problems
    just Contact Dr Telemi on his email on [email protected]
    at anytime, because he will always help you to solve all your problems.
    Once again thank you Dr. Telemi. Thank you, thank you.

    Dr. Telemi is a trust worthy spell caster and he will
    be of great help to you. I never believed in spell casting but After 4
    years of marriage my husband left me because I lost my womb, and i was
    unable to give birth to children. I felt like my life has come to an
    end, and i almost committed suicide, i was emotionally down for a very
    long time, but thanks to this spell caster called Dr. Telemi whom i met
    online after my friend Tracy James told me how he also helped her to
    bring back her husband in less than 2 days. I believed her and decided
    to give Dr. Telemi a try and i contacted him on his email [email protected]
    and explained my problems to him. He laughed and told me that In less
    than 2 days, my Husband will come back for me again, and that he will
    restore my womb and i will give birth to children. At first i thought it
    was a lie but i took courage and believed as Dr. Telemi has said and it
    did happen just as this Great spell caster said, My husband called me
    and was crying, apologizing for forgiveness. I forgave him and today i
    am so glad that all worries and problems has gone away, and we are even
    happier than before, another good news is that i am pregnant now, and
    very soon we are expecting our baby. Dr. Telemi is really a gifted and a
    powerful spiritual man and i will not stop publishing him because he is
    a wonderful man. I advice you all If you have a problem and you are
    looking for a real and genuine spell caster to solve all your problems
    just Contact Dr Telemi on his email on [email protected]
    at anytime, because he will always help you to solve all your problems.
    Once again thank you Dr. Telemi. Thank you, thank you…………………………….

  • weaveralicia

    i can’t really believe that i am with my Ex-Husband back after when he broke up with me with 4 kids i thank Dr Atakpo of ([email protected]) for helping me getting back my man back, My Name is Mrs Rhona Cole i am from England and my man name is Mr Alan Cole, my happiness turn to bitterness,my joy turn to sorrow,my love turn to hate when my husband broke up with me last week,i was so frustrated and i could not know what next to do again, i was so unthinkable and i could not concentrate any more, i love my husband so much but he was cheating on me with another woman and this makes him broke up with me so that he can be able to get marry to the other lady and this lady i think cast a spell on my husband to make him hate me and my kids and this was so critical and uncalled-for,I cry all day and night for God to send me a helped to get back my man until i went to Westmoreland to see a friend and who was having he same problem with me but she latter got her Husband back and i asked her how she was able to get her husband back and she told me that their was a powerful spell caster in Africa name DR ATAKPO that he help with love spell in getting back lost lover’s back and i decided to contacted the same Dr Atakpo and he told me what is needed to be done for me to have my man back and i did it although i doubted it but i did it and the Dr told me that i will get the result after 24hours, and he told me that my husband was going to call me by 9pm in my time and i still doubted his word, to my surprise my husband really called me and told me that he miss me so much Oh My God i was so happy, and today i am happily with my man again and we are joyfully living together as one good family and i thank the powerful spell caster Dr Atakpo of [email protected], he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the internet that good spell casters still exist and Dr Atakpo is one of the good spell caster who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble, if you are there and your lover is turning you down, or you have your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore contact the powerful spell caster Dr Atakpo on his email: [email protected] and he will answer you, i am a living testimony and i will continue to testify of his goodness in my family,he turn my family to paradise and today we are all happy together Dr Atakpo i say thank you in one million times thanks Dr.

  • melanie

    HI mike..I hope you are getting well this day..God will always there just pray and you will heal

  • moonlight

    You are the one who is sick!! Ask your god for forgiveness as you have hate and evil on your heart. Don’t you dare to compare a murder with a gay person. I ll “pray” for you and people like you to get out of your ignorance.

  • Mar

    Dear friend, being gay is not natural and is an evil sin. It is not that we deny the feeling the feeling you have but it is perverted. A serial killer has the urge to kill and feels fulfilled by it, it does not mean it is normal but it is a perversion. My friends stop being gay and seek guidance from God to cure your perversion and ill urges.

  • Lyev Mahrk

    Being attracted to the same sex in countries like USA,UK Canada is really easily as i have heard.There are still people there who don’t like people like us but it not as bad as that of Russia cos here we are beaten jailed and sometimes even killed.You can’t hold the hand of the one you care about in the public so as to avoid been harassed we can even set a place to me cos if we are caught we face jail time.Here in Russia we gay are prisoner in our own country.I am currently in a relation with my fiance and we had to leave Russia to be together.Before now his parent were against our relationship cos they had no idea he was gay we sneaked around knowing the risks if we were to be caught.When he finally got heart to tell him family the rejected him and asked he stops seeing me or they were going to turn him in and that scared him a lot his father is a very powerful man in Russia and he made it possible for him not to be able to live the country i mean as long as you have money in Russia anything goes.I was lucky they never got to meet me cos if they did i would have not been here right now writing this article that you are all reading.Probably i would have been in jail.Months passed and there was no way we could see each other cos they had him watched to make sure he is never get to meet me and also to know the person the was he was practicing this profane act with as they called it.They stripped him of all his right to the family assets and made him an outcast i could see he was suffering form the text he was sending me they made his life miserable and made him end our relationship.I knew he was confused and did know what to do to get his life back to make his family see him the way they use to.And i knew that his family were never going to accept his life style cos they are so anti gay.If they were to be a fund riser to fight gay practice in Russia his family will be the first to ask that they host it.I love him so much but he was scared of him family and they also had a grip on him.I know most person don’t believe in what about to say but still if it wasn’t for Mutton Osun a spell caster that i found on the internet i would not have been writing this.It happened maybe by a slim chance or fate that i was a blog were it happened that i read three distinct comment about how he help them with similar problem.I contacted him with an email address that was in the comment.I asked Mutton Osun to cast a spell to make my then boyfriend to make up his mind to run away from Russia with me to be together and also his family as in his father to make it possible for him to leave Russia with me and set a very comfortable life for us were we were going.And i know doing spells with someone you can’t even see is outrageous but i promise you he makes you feel more at else when he calls and he really goes through with his promise cos he did with mine he was really helpful to him and kind.And like other people said he doesn’t even charge you for what he is doing for you.I had to provide some list of materials that he asked that i get for my spell casting.I preferred that i sent the money down to him cos they were not easy to find and even when i found them it was so expensive but he could get them cheaply.He instructed me on how to make the spell work with great effect.It took 7 seven day and night to see it result.On the seventh night my boyfriend call me to tell me we could finally be together cos his father did agreed to do all i asked mutton osun to make him do i just knew at once it was Mutton Osun spell cos it what i asked for and now me and fiance are the happiest right now we can hold hand now without fear of being harassed or sent to jail for we are in love and we are very comfortable here.His father made sure everything was set before we even got here just like i asked it should be.Am going to also leave Mutton Osun email here just like others have done for contact purpose [email protected]

  • Albert einstien

    http://allseeingpsychics.com
    I think I
    have never seen such blogs ever before that has complete things with all
    details which I want. So kindly update this ever for us.

  • Sandra Smith

    Thank you Dr ONIHA The King of all spell caster you are the best spell caster that i have ever seen in my life the spell you casted for me have work very perfectly my ex boyfriend who live me for over 3week now is back and apologizing for me to come back to him that he is very sorry for the pain he cost me and i am so happy Doctor your spell is nice and make me fill alive again i will keep sharing you good work all over the world about the good spell you cast for me to get John back and i will also give your email address to everybody who is in need of help like you told me that you can cast a spell to bring ex back, Money spell, Protection spell, lotto spell, Good job spell, pregnancy spell, Love spell, and many other spell you told me you can cast for me if i need them i hope you will find a place to help other so they can give testimonies like me Doctor ONIHA The King of all spell caster please help others many people are having problem try to get help from people but they is nobody like you to help them solve there problem like you do Dr ONIHA The King of all spell caster if anyone need the help of this nice man contact him via this email:[email protected]

  • Injured

    well, Dan… being someone who has been resting for 3 months and not able to walk more than 15 minutes… I would say it definitely discouraging when friends don’t make effort to visit. All freedoms and independence are gone! I guarantee you, majority of sick/injured people would do things for themselves if they truly could. I have had 3-4 visits total in the past 3 months. Please try to find a place in your heart to focus on your friend and serving your friend. It means the world to them.

  • Dan

    Good tips. Please don’t feel downhearted if people don’t visit. For me, there is nothing that scares me more than seeing loved ones ill. I try to force myself but I find that I don’t handle it very well. I also have a tendency to get angry when people don’t do everything possible to help themselves. A reaction to stress I guess.

  • Mike Darby

    If you are a caregiver and you sound like a good one do you know if medicare will provide me with a addvocate ? I seem to be looseing my health very fast and now I have 4 infections and allmost weekly basis I seem to be getting worse with even more problems .! I’m getting tired of asking the doctors for help
    What can I do I don’t wanna give up?

  • Mike Darby

    I am on medicade and medicare and I have found myself being very sick with a few infections and it seems like the more I go to the hospital the less I am getting treated.
    My body seems to be going down hill and I really need someone to help me find and get the help I know I need..
    Is it allowed to record my visit to the hospital er since I feel like the doctor just thinks I’m fakeing but I’m not ! ?
    I really need advocate , does medicare provide one?

  • Prachi

    Would books or movies work?

  • Kathryn

    I am a professional psychic, and I’ll probably be the first one to admit that sometimes, psychics need help, too! I was intuitively drawn to Ekaka; I just opened up myself to the Universe, and with God’s great care, I was moved in the right direction. I absolutely endorse this email: [email protected] he is a natural therapist and intuitive worker. I was lucky enough to be sent to him when I needed so much help with my marriage, and he was 100% there for me, in spirit. Trust me; he works true Magic. Lovingly

  • I can also sympathize with all of this. I have a chronic lung condition and my wife has RA. We are in our late 50’s and it is a struggle at times, but with God in control, we are doing well!

  • well and well

    It really depends on how long and how sick you are. My first check in a hospital was very nervous so I informed just some close friends. One I really thought would care did not come, ironically when I limped out the hospital after the procedure, I bumped into her on the street, she was doing shopping on her own joy. Well, after that incident I had few more procedures done as I was in and out the hospital, I decided not to tell anyone. I actually feel good instead of getting heartbroken.

    However as a friend, I’d do everything to make a visit, or more. It’s to show your love and support and make your sick friends feel they are cared and loved. But don’t visit empty handed, bring something joyful and fun. I’d stay at least 1/2 hour and try to accompany other friends to visit together, if possible.

  • deb

    Having a medical disability (or several) (and the poverty that sometimes results) is a good way to weed out the people in your life who weren’t worth your time anyway. These days I don’t have to spend years trying to figure out who’s a nice person and who isn’t–I find out in a hurry.

    It helps me to know that it’s not just me–that other people who become sick also go through the loss of a number people in their lives.

    –Wishing you all well!

  • Jeanette

    It can be a terribly lonely time.
    My last op was in March 2010, my brother dropped me off at the front of the hospital, and that’s the last I saw of anyone until it was time for me to go home.( I missed out on my sons 13th birthday, guess it’s not a fun thing to do, visiting your mum ) On coming home, I was dropped off at my house, made comfy on the couch, then my brother left, I didn’t see any of my family for months. Fortunately a friend came the next day to stay for two days. He cooked and cleaned, it was wonderful.
    Got a double op coming up in the beginning of March.
    I’ve got no expectations this time, so I won’t be disappointed.

    thanks for listening

  • Talon

    O__O

    I swear, I thought I was the only one who calls myself a “professional patient!!”

    When my girlfriend who lives several states away from me was diagnosed with breast cancer, she called me every time she was given a new medication, or to ask about dosages for pain medications (her doctors are weird…they gave very strange dosages for percocet and vicoden) and she and others IM or email or call me to ask about taking certain medications with other meds.

    Sorry to hijack a comment for this, but I thought “professional patient” was so clever (even if it sounds like you’re a hypochondriac if you actually say it out loud) and frankly after cancer, PCOS, fertility issues, Ulcerative Colitis (with Crohns complications…nothing is ever simple with me), meningitis (yay for a compromised immune system >.<) not to mention being a caregiver for various grandparents for various things in the past, if I don't know SOMETHING about what someone is asking, I at least know where TO find out about it.

    Thank you Christine, seriously. For everything. From a professional patient who has been grateful for your Spoon Theory since 2003.

  • Coach Welch

    No better said!
    #:~)>

  • Kirsty

    i was in tears reading this. i spent 18 months in hospital, having 41 operations and procedures on my back. during that time my mum and dad came to see me as often as they could as they were living overseas, my husband came with my tiny toddler children a lot in the beginning, but it started to peter out very quickly as he made excuse after excuse to avoid coming to see me and so i eventually only saw my children once a week for an hour. my so-called best friend came 3 times, stayed for 15 minutes and left, and not one single one of my many, many other friends came, in 18 months. it was incredibly lonely and absolutely heartbreaking that people just thought that i was ok because i wasn’t dying. thank you for this – i wish it could be sent to every single person who knows of someone who is in hospital for whatever reason. i know that i would have loved to have had visitors. thank you for this.

  • Anony-Mouse is correct. Sitting next to my bed, I have a birthday card swearing “we’ll be friends forever” from someone I haven’t seen in 5 years (her wedding), and hadn’t seen for 5 years before that — she pretty much ignored me until she thought she could get a time-consuming piece of stitchery out of me as a wedding gift. At the time, I wasn’t up to doing one. She thought I’d gladly put 200 hours into making a gift for her even after she’d told me that she was “too busy” to make a 5-minute detour to bring me some takeout on a day I was confined to the couch.

    That card is my reminder that their definition of “friends” and my definition of “friends” are two different things — I now only count those people who’ve made time for me since I got sick. Not the people who pop in, criticize my housekeeping, and tell me I’d be less depressed if I’d get off the couch and clean the place, but those who understand that my problem is not depression and are willing to spare some time to help me do that portion of the cleaning that’s beyond my physical capabilities.

  • Melanie

    Great tips. I hope I won’t need to use them very often.

  • Becky

    Great article. I just got out of the hospital last night, and I’m now experiencing what happens when people don’t follow tip#10. It’s like everybody thinks as soon as you get out of the hospital, you’re fine, which of course isn’t true. I think it’s even more important for people to visit once you’re home. I was bored and lonely in the hospital, but at least there were doctors and nurses and therapists always coming and going, and there was always activity outside my room. Now I’m home, still barely able to do basic things like getting something to eat or getting dressed, and not only is there nobody to help with things, but there is also nobody to provide comfort and friendship and distraction from the illness. Tips 1-9 are great too. Some of the people who have visited me in the hospital have been great, but others could definitely benefit from reading this article.

  • I love all of these tips but I don’t necessarily agree with keeping all visits short unless surgery has been involved. Not all hospitalizations are the same and one of my favorite memories was my brother and his girlfriend driving the two and a half hours from their home to my hospital and spending the entire day with me. I came in on an emergency but I was kept for observation and those are some long, boring hours. They brought The Simpsons Clue with them =)
    Otherwise, definitely a great article. I wish my friends would visit me more when I am sick. I think they’re scared.

  • Anony-Mouse

    It’s such a catch-22. People gripe if you don’t ASK for help, but then talk about you badly behind your back when you do. I found that out a few years ago. I also found out those people weren’t my friends, no matter what they said. Because the sicker I got the more they disappeared.

  • greg perkins

    I have nothing to add, but i agree with what i have
    read. Thanks, Greg

  • This made me cry. All my family and friends know I have FM/CFS etc but not one of them offers to help me with anything. x

  • Great tips!! I found bringing playing cards is fun. I would sit with my grandma and play rummy, plus you can leave the cards there for next time!! 🙂

  • Great tips. I especially like the one about remembering people once they’re home from the hospital and recovering or at least not as acutely ill.
    I’ve been sick for a year now with an unspecified autoimmune disease (possibly lupus, but my rheumy isn’t ready to officially label me yet). People were great when I was in the hospital last July and the first couple months I was home.
    But I’m still too sick to get out of the house much and would love visitors or offers of help. But even people who know I’m still sick have stopped reaching out beyond an occasional email or phone call. They’ve moved on with their lives, and I’m just not really in them anymore.
    It’s hard. And it’s especially hard for my husband, who has to work fulltime to support us as well as do almost everything around the house and for our 3-year-old (who we had to put in fulltime daycare because I’m not well enough to take care of her.)
    I hope it’s OK, but I plan to link to this article from my blog. Maybe it will inspire people.
    I love your site, and thank you for all the articles you do. I refer people to your spoon theory post all the time!

  • mand

    Well written, Christine. 80)
    This would be a good read for someone learning to be a carer, too – many of the points are not obvious at the stage of getting used to the difference when your loved one is suddenly (or gradually) not fit and well.

  • sharon minzer

    I have suffered with lupus for twenty years. I am also a physician. I am so encouraged by what little I have read!!! Great work!!!

  • Lisa Lewis

    Hello;
    My name is Lisa and I have a sister who has Lupus and I can across you article in medscape with brought me to you site! I really enjoyed reading you article about the 10 tips an you are so right. I have also been on the both ends. I am a kidney transplant patient and I provide care in the homes for people and I enjoy it very much. What you say is true and it is common sense.
    I just wanted to email you to tell you to keep up the good work!
    God Bless!
    Lisa Lewis
    Pomeroy, Ohio

  • MARIAN BARNES

    JUST STOP IN SMILE–TALK ABOUT PLEASANT THINGS AND WHAT WE WILL DO WHEN YOUGET HOME.

  • These are very sound suggestions. I have been both the sick person and the caregiver to my wife who died of lung cancer more than three years ago.
    She enjoyed the company of visitors and most were kind enough to call ahead.
    As a person with a chronic illness, I have discovered who my handful of true friends are, and who were the fair weather friends who abandoned me. I have enough true friends to be comfortable and I cherish them for accepting me as I am now and not expecting me to become my “old self.”
    Father Daniel