The various ways people behave when visiting chronically ill patients …


SCHIZOPHRENIA, ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE and …….

There are three kinds of people who visit people suffering from chronic illnesses like Alzheimer’s or MENTAL ILLNESS like schizophrenia, for example.

There are the talkative ones: “How are you?” they ask, without waiting for a reply and then they turn to anyone else present and hammer them with questions or anecdotes.  Sometimes, they talk at the patient instead of to him/her.

The second kind of visitor arrives, talks non-stop probably due to embarrassment, but his/her words are directed to the care-giver or any other person present; in fact, they talk to anyone other than the person he/she came to see in the first place.

The last kind of visitor comes with a plan. He/she wants to involve the patient, to pay attention to his/her feelings, tries not to contradict or explain too much, and uses gentle humor where possible. When he/she leaves, the ill person is left feeling relaxed, maybe even smiling, and has the feeling that he has taken part in a perfectly ordinary conversation. He/She might even be left with the positive feeling that no one has to be perfect in order to be loved.

I  would like to repeat that; No one has to be perfect in order to be loved.

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