Visiting an Ill Friend – How Long Should I Stay?
13 Oct 2017

Your friend or family member is sick. He or she may be in the hospital or recovering at home. You want to visit but don’t want to intrude. Most people, when they’re sick, don’t want to offend anyone or seem ungrateful for the concern, especially if they may need assistance from you down the road. In an effort to avoid this, she may begrudgingly accept visitors.

Not only is it ok to ask your friend if she’s up to company, but it’s preferable to check in before scheduling a visit. A good approach would be to let your friend know that you’re thinking of her and you would love to stop by for a visit if she’s up to it.  But, the important piece here is that you add the following – If you’re not feeling up to company I completely understand and won’t take it personally. I’d be happy to talk on the phone when you’re up to it, or come by down the road when you feel like having company. Give her an out.

If your friend agrees to a visit, ask what the best time of day is for her. You won’t want to visit when she usually takes a nap, or perhaps has a medical professional visiting. Plan to keep your visit to 30-60 minutes, unless a longer visit is requested by your friend. During your visit be aware of your friend’s energy level. If her eyes start to seem heavy, she’s yawning or starting to fall asleep, that should be your cue to dismiss yourself. This may occur sooner in the visit than you may plan. Just let your friend know that you are willing to leave so she can rest and that you’d be happy to come back for another visit when she’s up to it. If your friend doesn’t feel as though she has to struggle to stay awake to entertain you she will be more likely to accept future visits. And remember, sometimes just calling to check in or sitting silently with someone is more beneficial than you realize.

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