Practical Tips

Tips You Can Use To Help Those Facing Serious Illness

When someone we know faces a serious illness, most of us find it hard to know what to do. Feeling helpless and uncertain, we say “If you need anything, just call,” but we know that’s not really enough.

Here is a collection of truly useful ideas you can use to show your concern and support for people who are close to you:

Touch me – A simple squeeze of the hand tells me you still care

Call and tell me you’re bring over my favorite dish – Bring food in disposable containers so I won’t worry about returning them

Don’t avoid me – Be the friend…the loved one you’ve always been

Watch my children – While I take a little time with my loved one. My children also may need a little vacation from my illness

Share emotions with me – Cry with me when I cry and laugh with me when I laugh. Don’t be afraid to share these emotions with me. Pain isolates. Help me reconnect with others

Take me out for a pleasure trip – But know my limitations

Call for my shopping list – And make a special delivery to my home

Before you visit – Call to let me know, but don’t be afraid to visit. I need you. I can get lonely

Help me celebrate holidays (and life) – By decorating my hospital room or home, or by bringing me flowers or other natural treasures

Help my family. Invite them out – Take them places. I am sick, but they may be suffering also. Offer to come and stay with me to give my loved ones a break

Be creative – Bring me a book of thoughts, taped music, a poster for my wall, cookies to share with my family and friends

Let’s talk about it – Maybe I need to talk about my illness. Find out by asking me, “Do you feel like talking about it?

Don’t always feel we have to talk – Sitting quietly together is fine

Help be feel good about my looks

Can you take me and/or my children somewhere? – I may need transportation to a treatment, to the store or to my physician

Please include me in decision making – I’ve been robbed of so many things. Please don’t deny me a chance to make decisions in my family or in my life

Bring me a positive attitude – It’s catching. Help me respect reality

What’s new in the news? – Magazines, photos, newspapers and verbal reports keep me from feeling the world is passing me by

Could you help me with some cleaning? -During my illness, my family and I still face dirty dishes, dirty clothes and a dirty house

Water my flowers

Just send a card – To let me know you care

Pray for me – And share your faith with me

Tell me how you’d like to help me – And, when I agree please do so

Talk to me about the future – Tomorrow, next week, next year. Hope is so important to me

Tell me about support groups – So I can share with others

From Hospice Buffalo