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Should I be worried about hosting a guest with CFS / ME?


I Realise that this seems a bit wrong to ask. I definitely dont want to come across as discriminatory against conditions. I am just not fully versed on the condition and what risks it poses.

I realise it is mental rather than physical. But that in turn does affect the physical nature of a person when they are not feeling their best, am I correct? The bedroom is up some stairs.

As it is a two night stay, there clearly will be some time spent here. As it is not a quick stopover and out in the morning kinda jobbie… So, is it likely that this person will need some “care and attention”?

If anyone has any advice/ experience on this or the condition itself, it would be welcomed.



I wouldn’t do it if it would make you an uncomfortable host.


… Not sure if you are joking…

It is merely because I would rather not know what to do in case of emergency, if it proves to be that kind of situation. I dont know enough about it to make in informed decision of it’s risk factor.

This person felt it important to tell me on their first enquiry message… So I can only presume, it is some sort of risk?

…I dont know…


Thanks cs2015

I totally agree. And until, I stopped and thought about the fact this person had brought it up in their initial enquiry, it didn’t occur to me that it could cause any potential risks…

But I am definitely not trained to deal with potential problems of that nature, if they so arise.

Thanks for your support.


Hi, I’m no expert either, though I have some knowledge through friendships and my work. First thing, you’ll get on better if you don’t regard this as a ‘mental’ problem. Undoubtedly the condition has emotional, cognitive and psychological impacts, but it is a real condition, with physical symptoms. The level of pain, discomfort and/or disability varies greatly - from person to person, from day to day, from one part of a day to another, and depends on a whole host of factors - eg, longevity of the illness (what stage of recovery), successful energy management, exposure to triggers (eg environmental, stress, chemical etc), and so on.
Like anyone, the best way to ensure this guest has a successful stay would be to make sure he/she is really well informed about your space ( eg your listing will, presumably, make it clear about stairs, any physical demand reaching your home, services that are/aren’t included) and that they know what to expect, AND what’s expected of them. If they have any specific issues or needs, just ask them so you can know up front whether or not you can accommodate them. Your prospective guest has, probably, lived with this condition for some time and will know for themselves what they can/can’t manage. Just make sure they’ve all the info they need to make an informed judgement whether your place is suitable, be clear what - if any - adjustments you can/can’t make, and don’t feel you have to be responsible for them!
Hope this helps; let us know how you get on.


caiti makes an excellent reply. risks it poses? there is nothing transmissible if that’s what you are asking. these sufferers can have trouble taking stairs if they have a flair and their condition is very severe. i doubt you have an uncontrolled sufferer if they are traveling. if they have a flair up while in your home it’s unlikely they will impose on you. it’s not as if this person will suddenly become paralyzed or require hospitalization. chronic fatigue syndrome causes extreme tiredness and flu-like symptoms. and as caiti said, it’s a physical condition not a mental one. i wouldn’t worry too much. i had an MS sufferer stay will me for a long stay. never was an issue. when he had off days he just slept all day.


I am going to guess that the person told you about their condition, just as way to politely ask if you would have an issue helping them with their luggage, etc. if need be.

Just like someone with rheumatoid arthritis may ask for your assistance in twisting the cap off of a ketchup bottle.


When I feel I don’t have enough information, I usually communicate with the guest that Is requesting to stay, and ask what I would like to know. In this case I don’t know what you mean by ‘risks’ as clearly this illness from a cursory glance involves mainly fatigue and other issues of a non- life threatening nature, but I would certainly go ahead and ask how capable the guest is of getting around if you are worried about having to be of assistance to someone who is sick.

A couple of things do stand out, although I would have to see the message to be sure, and that is the idea of telling a potential host about your illness. It would be odd to tell a host unless you are expecting something more than the usual guest, such as extra care, help up and down stairs, and help with luggage - even getting meals. This absolutely needs to be understood in advance, not just mentioned briefly. For instance, I couldn’t help someone to get up stairs, nor do I like to avail myself of luggage unless the guest packs appropriately, due to having issues of my own. Obviously a guest can’t just assume because they have mentioned they are ill that you will become their carer for a couple of days, as that is a different thing entirely from what they are paying for. And you should absolutely know in advance exactly what they might expect after you explain your layout. If you’re big and strong and have the time to spare, you might enjoy helping someone out, but others may not be able to at all. And if it is a matter of help with mobility, weight is an issue - it is important to know what you are dealing with.

Personally, I have a lot of issues with pain and illness, but I have never mentioned it to a host! The only two reasons I can come up with are the one above (wanting extra help/carer), or desiring attention for being sick. That last one is a long shot, but there are weirdos out there.

Always enter into dialog until you feel you are clear on everything. There is no harm in asking how well they are presently and if they can manage their own luggage and getting up stairs etc, or if they will require help. You should know these things in advance. It would be odd to mention being sick for no reason whatsoever, so worth exploring IMO

All the best!


Thanks Sandy!

The second part is what I was worried about. WHY would anyone tell a random stranger about such things unless there was cause to (or looking for acknowledgment). It is why I declined her in the end.

Thank you for replying. Sorry it has taken so long to get to reading it and responding, Been a busy month.

Cheers for your words!


No problem. I’m afraid I would have done the same. We don’t need things to get more complicated then they already are! If something seems like a PITA, it probably is :wink:

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