Small Ways To Show Compassion To Someone Dealing With Illness

It can be hard to know how best to show compassion and support someone who is dealing with a serious or chronic illness. Often, you desperately want to ease their suffering and be there for them, but you are unsure of what they need and how you can help.

Everyone deals with their illness in different ways. While the appropriate response can vary between individuals, lifestyles, and the illness itself, there are a considerable number of small (and big) ways that we can show compassion and lift their spirits.

Here are some things you can do to show compassion. Even the smallest of acts can make life a little easier, or a little brighter, for those dealing with illness.

Small Ways To Show Compassion To Someone Dealing With Illness

Listen

The most common response to witnessing another person’s pain and suffering is to want to take it away. Or to find some profound words of wisdom to make everything better. However, in most situations, there really are no magic words that can achieve this.

Avoid the temptation to give a pep talk. Just listen without judgement. Let them vent, rage, cry, or whatever they need to do. If in doubt, ask what they would like from you. There may, in fact, be times when they would love to hear that pep-talk or some sage advice.

Check-In

Small Ways To Show Compassion To Someone Dealing With Illness

Dealing with illness can be an isolating experience. People may feel very alone, even if they have strong support around them. Life still goes on for everyone. It is easy to forget what they are going through as you continue with your day-to-day activities.

Sometimes when people hear a friend or loved one is suffering a chronic illness, their first reaction may be denial. Burying your head in the sand and ignoring that person is not helpful for anyone. Even though it can be hard, and you might not always know what to say, checking in will show you care. That you are thinking of them and that they can call on you if they need someone.

Make an effort to keep in touch regularly. Even if you just drop them a quick text, note, or a phone call to let them know you are thinking of them.

Be Inclusive

Adjusting to the loss of their former capabilities can be disheartening for those with a serious illness. They may not be able to enjoy the hobbies or social life they once did. But there is no need for them to miss out entirely. Think of creative ways to include them that they are comfortable with. Host movie nights at home, bring the gang over for a game of charades, or just hang out quietly together with a cuppa.

Small Ways To Show Compassion To Someone Dealing With Illness

Extend invites to all the usual social activities and help them to attend if they are able, even if they may not be able to participate the way they used to.

Take Action

While texts and phone calls can make a difference in brightening someone’s day, what many people that are coping with illness need is practical help. However, it can be hard for them to reach out and ask, or even accept help when offered.

Regardless, there are some things they may not be able to do physically. Or things they are too stressed to deal with. Attending to what seem like the simplest of chores for you can help drag someone out of an awful day.

– Here are just a few ideas of practical ways you can help.

– Offer to drive them to and from doctor’s appointments

– Prepare meals and deliver them (check any dietary needs as some treatments have strict requirements for food intake)

– Help with housework

– Mow their lawn or do a spot of gardening

– Pick up their groceries

– Babysit their kids (if applicable) or help drop them at school or activities

Even if you live far away, there are still lots of things you can do to show compassion and help someone going through a rough time. Picking up the phone works wonders. Or, you can use the services of Swathe.me to gift funds to a special someone you know. Check out our website to see how it all works.

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