"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How to Support Someone Who is Sick? #Simple Living in Practice

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I was just a sponsor for a local cancer research fundraiser this weekend and it got me thinking about how best to help a person out who is ill. Below are my suggestions. Please leave comments about: 
How you supported a person who was ill? or
What someone did for you when you were sick that helped?

  • Don't say, "Let me know if there is anything I can do for you." When you are sick it is hard to think of specific things you need. It is even harder to ask someone to do these things.

Instead think about what needs the person has, and offer to do a specific task.

 a) If a family needs meals set up an online dinner schedule where others from your community can volunteer to cook one night for the family. We did this in my town for a family of 6 and it was quiet successful.

b) Ask the person what day you can come by to do some house cleaning for her?

c) Offer to drive her to a doctor's appointment and if you have the time offer to stay with her after a treatment.

d) If the person has a pet offer to take care of it. Maybe feed, board, or walk it if it is a dog.


  • Make yourself available to just spend time with the person. I find this especially important when someone is elderly. When I was in college I volunteered as a Visiting Neighbor in NYC. Sometimes I would shop or bring a person to a doctor's appointment, but more often then not I would just sit with her and listen to whatever she needed to talk about. We all need to be heard, and being available to listen is a precious gift to a sick person.

  • Depending on how close you are to a person, hug or hold their hand. Again especially with the elderly, I find they are in real need of physical touch. Sometimes a person who is ill doesn't feel like chatting, but having someone hold their hand can be the most soothing thing. 


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10 comments:

  1. These are great ideas Diane! I got to help take care of my grandma the last few years of her life, while at the same time providing my parents the time to get away without needing to worry about her.
    I love taking meals to new mothers, or watching older siblings after a baby is born. I know it can benefit the mom immensely to have the time to connect and just relax with the new baby.

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    1. Really important point... it is not just the sick who need assistance. New mom's really need breaks and a chance to rest and adjust to life with a new baby. We need to remember to reach out to them too.

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  2. What a great post Diane! Our neighborhood watch did just this recently when the block captain was in hospice at her home. She was so appreciative and her husband definitely needed the support physically and emotionally. There are very few things that are as rewarding as helping people in need.

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    1. Great to hear stories of people reaching out... especially to non-family. Thanks.

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  3. Such a timely post...as my FIL is gravely ill. We are working in lots of visits as they live out of state. And I'm trying to bring his favorite foods. Thanks!

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    1. So sorry Liz... I hope these suggests are of a little help. It is never easy. Take care.

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  4. These are such important ideas. Our family finds this kind of support in our church. There seems never to be a need that isn't met through the compassion of the Lord through our church family. Meals, cleaning, errands, babysitting - you name it, people in our church will do it for you when you need it!

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  5. Such wonderful ideas. I know I'm sometimes at a loss for helping others in a practical way. I forget that simply visiting and chatting with them can be a blessing, too.

    Thanks for linking up at Motivation Monday!.

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    1. I definitely learned from growing up around a lot of elderly people to slow down and chat. It matters. Now if I can teach my kids this?

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