PRACTICAL TIPS TO HELP THOSE FACING A SERIOUS ILLNESS
l. Don’t avoid me. Be the friend...the loved one, you’ve always been.
2. Touch me. A single squeeze of my hand can tell me you still care.
3. 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.
4. Cry when I cry. Laugh with me when I laugh. Don’t be afraid to share this with me.
5. Take me out for a pleasure trip, but know my limitations.
6. Call for my shopping list and make a “special”delivery to by home.
8. Help me celebrate holidays (and life) by decorating my hospital room or home or bringing me tiny gifts of flowers or other natural treasures.
9. Help my family. I am sick, but they may be suffering. Offer to come stay with me to give my loved ones a break. Invite them out. Take them places.
10. Be creative. Bring me a book, taped music, a poster for my wall, cookies to share with my family and friends...an old friend who hasn’t come to visit me.
11. 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?”
12. Don’t always feel we have to talk. We can sit silently together.
13. 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...in my life.
14. Talk to me of the future. Tomorrow, next week, next year. Hope is important to me
15. What’s in the news? Magazines, photos, newspapers, verbal report, keep me from feeling the world is passing me by.
16. Could you help me with some cleaning? During my illness, my family
and I still face: dirty clothes, dirty dishes, dirty house.
17. Water my flowers.
18. Be honest. If you are nervous and don’t know what to say, tell me that. It is your presence that counts, and your honesty will tell me you care.
These tips are taken from Saint Anthony’s Hospital, Make Today Count