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5 Essential Tips for Visiting Someone Who Is Sick

In this age of Coronavirus, and with flu season almost upon us, you will know of someone who is ill. You might need to care for a close friend or family member or want to visit that person during their illness.

Caring for and visiting the sick is not always an easy task. You have to be aware of what the sick person needs and can handle. You must also try to keep yourself and your “patient” from passing germs between you.

Here are 5 essential tips for caring for and visiting someone who is sick.

1. Call First

It is important to not “drop-in” to visit someone who is ill. Privacy is at a minimum in a hospital setting, and even if the ill person is at home, they may not be able to handle in-person visits. 

The sick person, as well as anyone else with them, might need a little preparation time before a visit, and you might need the same thing. Making an “appointment” via a phone call provides that time for all.

2. Wash Your Hands and Wear Protective Gear

Whenever you visit someone who is ill, wash your hands before and after your visit.

If the sick person is infectious, you should wear a mask and gloves, as well. If you are entering a hospital or long-term care facility, make sure you know the rules for visitors. Some hospitals will only allow visitors who are completely protected in a disposable or reusable isolation gown

3. What to Do and Say When Visiting the Sick

A quiet, peaceful, and cheerful attitude is best when visiting someone who is ill. Listen more than you talk, and take note of what the sick person might ask for. Ask them specifically what they would like you to do for them.

When you do speak, try to share tidbits you can both laugh about, as humor is said to be the best medicine. Tell the kind of stories you would have shared when they were well, so they can feel “normal.”

If they don’t want to or can’t speak, there is nothing wrong with sitting quietly with them, reading to them, or even watching some television. Your presence is what is most important.

4. Avoid Too Much Contact

Don’t share food or drink with someone who is ill, though you can bring them unopened treats if their condition allows.  

Try not to touch too many surfaces or items in their sickroom, so that you do not receive and they do not catch germs. And, while it’s good to hold their hand, keep other contacts to a minimum until they are on the recovery side of their illness.

5. Caring for a Sick Person

As a caregiver, you help the sick in their recovery by seeing they get whatever they need.

In the case of a COVID patient, the CDC has an extensive list of care items for both the patient and the caregiver that can help both of you through the challenge of illness. 

Caring Visits Are a Gift

Caring for and visiting the sick is an act of mercy and love, and gives the ill person a bright spot in their time of trouble, which will hopefully bring them back to wellness. 

Keep reading here for more information on health, wellness, and life improvement strategies for all.   

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