This being breast cancer awareness month (please see our previous article on breast cancer awareness here), it brings to mind that cancer patients, as well as others going through an extended or chronic illness, might need help that we, as friends or family of the patient, could provide.
At Aero Jet Medical, we provide premier critical care to patients all around the world. But, what if you aren’t a healthcare worker? You may feel like you can’t help your loved one when they are struggling with a chronic illness. Oh, but you can! Even the very smallest of kind words can help a patient fight harder and longer and help their bodies heal. But, in what ways can you help? We thought of some and made a list! Try these out and see how well your loved one begins to feel (and better yet…see how well you begin to feel too).
Helping Someone With Chronic Illness
Some of the more obvious things we can do include: transportation to treatments, providing meals, or just calling to check up on them.
But there are other ways to help that we might not have thought of. Some of these ideas include:
- Lending them a book, or an audio book if that’s easier for their particular condition
- Surprising them by cleaning their house, or paying for a maid service for a day
- Renting a movie for them, and watching it with them
- Providing them with some soothing CD music, or a CD of their favorite artist
- Giving them crossword puzzle books or other types of puzzle books
- Hand held games also might be fun, such as solitaire
- Magazines are also a good idea – maybe something having to do with their hobby (craft books, fashion, etc)
- If they are into needlework, getting them a project to work on
- If they have young kids, offer to babysit
- Offer to take the patient to doctor appointments – gives them a chance to visit with someone while in the waiting room
- When providing meals, be sure to make something that also can be frozen for later dinners
- Offer to walk pets
- Bring some cheery flowers to brighten up their day
Another great thing to do is to put together a basket with several of these items included to give to your friend or relative. A container filled with notes for an upcoming house cleaning, or meals, and puzzle books, books to read, or materials for a needlework project would be greatly welcomed. You can also include some favorite snacks that you know to be OK for them to eat.
Be A Good Listener
Please keep in mind though that patients may be reluctant to ask for help, but if we offer it cheerfully and let them know that we truly want to be there for them, they will really appreciate us thinking of them. Keep in mind that you can’t “fix” their illness. They don’t need you to tell them what to do, just be there to listen.
Sometimes, long-term illness or chronically ill folks just need an encouraging word, a note or a phone call to let them know others are thinking about them. But, in addition, these ideas can help even more to make an unpleasant situation be more bearable. Just having someone to pass the time with can make all the difference, and might also give them the strength needed to get well more quickly.
So, since we’re sure you know of at least one family member or friend that needs a little support, consider these options to brighten their otherwise difficult day, and knowing you raised up someone’s spirits will brighten your day as well!
What do you do to help someone who is dealing with a chronic illness? Did it make our list? We’d love to hear from you!
photo credit: mimitalks, married, under grace Please feel free to use these .png format ribbons for personal use awareness images for any cause, disease, disorder shown via photopin (license)