Thursday, January 24, 2013

Comforting a sick friend or relative

So many of us have someone in our life who is very sick or maybe even dealing with a terminal illness. I came across this great list of ways to comfort a sick friend (or family member). Perhaps some of the ideas may be helpful to you.

27 ways to comfort a sick friend

We all want to be there when a friend or loved one needs us most. Why not step outside the box and use these creative ways to offer help, a boost or just some much-needed distractions?

Provide a dose of delight. Take a sick friend on an excursion to a “delightful place,” such as a botanical garden, nature trail, beach or forest preserve. It can be a soul-soothing experience. 

For a friend who is seriously ill and housebound, drop off some food, books or videos, but keep your visit short so as not to tire them out.

Burn a CD of your friend’s favorite songs or a selection of soothing, tranquil music.
Organize a group care network for a sick loved one. Email a group of close friends and set up a rotating system for coming over and helping with household chores or caregiving.  

Offer to help with the day-to-day stuff that needs to be done, such as a grocery trip, a Target run, doing a load of laundry, bringing home cooked food or walking the dog.

When you’re at the grocery store call your sick friend and say “I'm here what do you need?”  Or, “I have the kids after school... don't worry.”

Be a stable, reliable presence in your friend's life. Speaking calmly and checking in regularly can be a huge comfort to someone whose life has been turned upside down by a health challenge.

Keep in touch through regular emails or CarePages website postings. Say something.  Say anything. Let him or her know they are not alone.  

Send a weekly care package to a sick co-worker. Set up a drop box on your desk and ask co-workers to “lend” their favorite magazines, DVDs, and/or CDs to help your colleague pass the time.

A plant or a small bouquet of flowers is always appreciated--even after the healing process of surgery, chemo or other illnesses has begun.

Offer to arrange child care at no cost to the family when an illness happens that involves small children.

A health crisis can create chaos in so many ways. Send over a cleaning service to clean the house and restore a sense of serenity and order. 

Create a gift basket with fruits, granola bars, magazines, a deck of cards, candies, a package of thank you cards, stamps, a notebook and a pen. 

Donate your frequent flyer miles or give an airline gift certificate to a family member of a sick friend who lives far away.

Send books, DVDs or CDs through Amazon to help a sick friend pass the time. 

Send a box of seasonal fresh fruit through Harry and David to a friend who is recovering from illness or surgery.

Hire a manicurist/pedicurist to do a house call for a sick friend. 

Buy a gift membership to an online DVD rental service so your recovering friend can receive movies through the mail. Gift memberships can be purchased for one month up to a year.

If your friend is bed-bound or in the hospital 
for a while, send or drop off some soft, fluffy slippers, a soft bed pillow, lavender scented linen spray, wonderful pajamas, comfy socks, or foot massage cream to make them feel pampered.

Throw a feel-good get-together. Shower a friend with practical and meaningful gifts to help him or her get through a tough time, such as surgery or chemo. 
Provide food for the soul. Organize a pool of cooks to whip up comfort food to give and share, and make sure you've got a team in place to create your own meals-on-wheels network.

Become the wheels. Offer to accompany your friend to his or her medical appointment.

Put together a get-well kit. Include bottled water, green tea, Kleenex, fruits, vitamin C, and a bundle of healthy remedies. 

Provide healing hands. Massage can be a powerful tool for calming our psyches. Get your friend a gift certificate for a massage that can be redeemed when he or she feels up to it.

Empower your friend or loved one by providing them with a box filled with inspirational books, inspiring quotes and music.

Provide entertainment. Offer to take a sick friend to the movies. Or bring over a DVD, make some popcorn and watch a funny movie together. 

Laugh, chat, and share as you normally would. Remember that a person is not defined by illness. They are still the same friend to you and want to continue to do their 

part in the give and take of friendship.

You can see this list here:

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