Healthy Living Tips  |  Posted 09.29.14

25 Practical Tips To Help Those Facing A Serious Illness

25 Practical Tips To Help Those Facing A Serious Illness

What do we do, What do we say?

When someone we know faces a serious illness, most of us find it difficult to know what to do or say…

There are things you can do!

  1. Be the friend, the loved one you’ve always been…don’t avoid me.
  2. Touch me. A simple squeeze of my hand can tell me you will always care.
  3. Call me to tell me you’re bringing my favorite dish and what time you are coming. Bring food in disposable containers, so I don’t worry about returns.
  4. Take care of my children for me. I need a little time to be alone with my loved one. My children may also need a little vacation from my illness.
  5. Weep with me when I weep. Laugh with me when I laugh. Don’t be afraid to share this
    with me.
  6. Take me out for a pleasure trip, but understand that I may have limitations.
  7. Call for my shopping list and make a “special” delivery to my home.
  8. Call me before you visit, but don’t be afraid to visit. I need you.
  9. Help me celebrate holidays (and life!) by decorating my hospital room or home or bringing me tiny gifts of flowers or other natural treasures.
  10. Help my family. They are going through this, too. Offer to come stay with me to give my loved ones a break. Invite them out. Take them places.
  11. Be creative! Bring me a book of thoughts, taped music, a poster for my wall, cookies to share with my family and friends, or an old friend who hasn’t come to visit me.
  12. Let’s talk. Maybe I need to talk about my illness. Find out by asking me: “Do you feel like talking
    about it?”
  13. Don’t always feel like we have to talk. We can sit silently together.
  14. Can you take me or my loved ones somewhere… we may need transportation to…a treatment, the store, a doctor?
  15. Help me feel good about my looks. Be genuine.
  16. Include me in decision making. Please don’t deny me a chance to make decisions for my family…my life.
  17. Talk to me of the future…tomorrow, next week, next year.
  18. Bring me a positive attitude. It’s catching!
  19. What’s in the news? Bring me magazines, photos, newspapers, and verbal reports.
  20. Could you help me with some cleaning? During my illness, my family and I still have the chores of everyday life.
  21. Water my flowers.
  22. Just send a card to say, “I care.”
  23. Pray for me and with me.
  24. Tell me what you’d like to do for me, and when I agree, please do it!
  25. Tell me about local support groups so I can share with others.

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

- Leo Buscaglia