Parsha Mitzvot: Vayechi: Visiting the Ill V
What time of the day is best for visiting the sick? One should not visit in the first three hours of the day because many people look better in the morning and the visitor may not realize how ill the person is. This may lead the visitor to not pray with as much fervor as he would if he understood the full extent of the illness and suffering.
He should also not visit late in the afternoon or evening when the person often appears worse, because it may lead the visitor to think that matters are graver than he believed, and he may feel that matters are hopeless. This will weaken his prayers and the sick person may sense the visitor’s desperation.
If he cannot visit in the proper times, it is better to visit when he can than to not visit at all. (Ahavat Chesed, Section 3, Chapter 3)
If possible, first determine when the sick person prefers to receive visitors.
We should not say, “You look great!” The person may be having a few good hours and will feel that we are minimizing their suffering.
We should not have a look of shock on our faces that may scare the sick person.