When our loved ones are ill, its most times very emotional for us, seeing them in pain or disabled is always heart breaking and devastating. Even more it is with them. They are in more pain and hurt and devastation. We therefore need to show them how caring we are to help them scale through their hard time.

How do you talk to or care for someone who is seriously ill?

The most important thing to have in mind is that they are in pain- emotional and physical- thus your attention should be focused on only what they need.

Its sometimes very confusing if you should visit the person; if even you should how often. When you eventually visit the person is it right to talk or just keep quiet and if you decide to talk what should you talk about, should you make him laugh or tell him/her why he is sick and the what is going to happen to him or her? What exactly is the right thing to do?

Here are a few tips on how to care for someone who is sick and help them come off their sick bed well.

• When someone is sick the emotional pains are more than the physical pain. They want people around them to show them that they are still loved and useful members of the society and not liabilities. A visit or a note is important.
• Offer to help them do things that they cannot do for themselves. Help them pick up groceries, help them clean their house, water the plants etc.
• When you visit, let them have and dictate what happens. Do not force them to talk, be ready to listen anytime they are ready to talk.
• Share a handshake or a gentle hug or a patting on the shoulders. Sick persons always think of themselves as not adorable or desirable. A handshake will expel such thoughts.
• Help to reassure the person that all will be fine. Share personal experience and what you have learnt in course.
• Make them alive by telling one or more joke or recounting a past story that you both can laugh about.
• Share a prayer, a poem, a message or a relaxing and soothing song with them.
• Always make yourself available to the needs of the sick person. As long as you remain present, patient and extend unconditional support, offer yourself as a non-judgmental listener, you will likely do well.


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